The Bronx River Study: Launching the School Year in Jessica and Andrene’s First Grade Classroom

These videos offer images of high quality early learning in a first-grade classroom at Bronx Community Charter School, a public, independent New York City charter school serving the diverse community of the northwest Bronx.

Use these guiding questions to help facilitate discussion around this video series.

This video documents the first weeks of school in a first-grade ICT (integrated collaborative teaching) classroom where, as part of a whole-school study of the neighboring Bronx River, the children learn about habitats of the river and its surrounding parkland. Teachers Jessica Lawrence and Andrene Robinson explain how they develop the curriculum based on the children’s questions, weaving important knowledge and skills into interdisciplinary projects. The video culminates with the Bronx River Museum — an all-school event that shares the children’s learning with each other and their families.

Additional short video clips …

On Building Classroom Community:

Jessica and Andrene discuss how they establish routines and support the children to learn how to take care of their learning and each other.

On Scaffolding:

Watch here to see two brief examples of how Andrene and Jessica scaffold and guide children’s learning.

On Assessing and Reporting:

In this video, the teachers explain how they carry out the school’s practices of keeping track of children’s learning and communicating progress to children’s families.

On Professional Development:

Jessica and Andrene reflect on the school’s structures and supports that enable and nurture the ongoing learning of children and teachers.

Anti-Bias Day at Bronx Community Charter School:

On Inauguration Day, 2017, Bronx Community Charter School celebrated Anti-Bias Day. It began with the school’s weekly All-School Meeting, a gathering of students, teachers, staff and families to share work, celebrate special events, sing, and play music together. Brandon Victor Dixon, star of the Broadway play “Hamilton”, was the guest for the day. After the meeting, he visited classrooms and spoke with the students. See highlights from this special event.