Teachers find new, fun ways to connect with students during COVID-19 pandemic

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Ever wonder what everyone was doing with all the toilet paper they bought last month?

Physical education (PE) teachers in North Vancouver used the bathroom staple to help encourage their students to keep active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Argyle Secondary school’s PE teachers recorded themselves making creative, funny and active use of a single roll of toilet paper. Examples included trick shots, catching a roll with a fly-fishing rod and using a roll as a football with family. The teachers uploaded the video on Youtube and then challenged students to come up with their own ways to use a toilet paper roll to stay active. The teachers say this is the start of weekly video challenges that serve a number of learning purposes. The toilet paper will eventually be used for its intended purpose once the challenge is complete. To view the video, visit: https://youtu.be/c0TP0QiveOU

“Students are going through a difficult, uncertain time right now,” said Bryan Lockless, one of Argyle’s teachers. “We, as a PE department, wanted to do something fun to inspire them to be creative, show their learning in new ways, keep connected and have fun with the online physical education challenges we have put together for them.

“We can’t wait to see what the students come up with on a weekly basis.”

This is one of many examples of leaders in B.C.’s schools coming up with new, innovative and creative ways to reach students while in-person classes are suspended.

In New Westminster, students are the stars in an uplifting video. Amy Bothwell, a Grade 5 teacher at Qayqayt Elementary school, wanted to help her students think of new ways to support their communities while in-class learning is suspended.

She asked her students to take a picture, or film themselves, doing something that helped others and put together a compilation of everything her students came up with. That video can be seen at: https://spark.adobe.com/video/uKTUUqFwQPViq?fbclid=IwAR26ctBkbSdJ1nheofYE0CKlwO_xjDbX_QVO3tiepvbiQQjeP4Q8XFXbLcw

“The students really just took it and ran with it,” Bothwell said. “From putting art in their windows supporting health care workers, to playing songs on a trombone, it really gave the students a sense of community and a sense of connection.

“The students were really excited to see their friends again, even if it was just in a video.”

The digital world is proving to be a great place for learning and connection. The Ministry of Education has developed a website for parents to support children, Keep Learning BC, and is providing a number of licensed web platforms, including the Zoom collaboration tool, to school districts to help keep school communities connected. Visit Keep Learning BC: https://www.openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning/

Learn More:

Accurate, timely information about schools, programs and educational services, including regularly updated frequently asked questions in multiple languages, is available at: www.gov.bc.ca/SafeSchools/

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

For the provincial health officer’s orders, notices and guidance, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/phoguidance

For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/covid-19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.

For a French translation: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Teachers-Connect-COVID19_FR.pdf