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(VIDEO) Argyle teachers finding creative ways to connect with students during pandemic

In case you haven’t noticed, toilet paper’s been enjoying its moment in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In case you haven’t noticed, toilet paper’s been enjoying its moment in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With gym classes on hold and many Vancouver households in possession of a well-stocked supply of TP, physical education teachers in North Vancouver were inspired to use the in-demand bathroom staple to help encourage their students to keep active while staying at home.

Argyle Secondary school PE teachers filmed themselves using a single roll of toilet paper for activities like basketball trick shots, fly-fishing, football, and as a balance prop for yoga poses, and compiled the footage into a hilarious video.

The teachers posted it to YouTube, challenging students to come up with their own creative ways of using toilet paper roll to stay active. According to a media release from B.C.’s ministry of education, the teachers are using this video to kick off a series of weekly video challenges that will serve a number of learning purposes while in-person classes remain suspended.

“Students are going through a difficult, uncertain time right now,” said Bryan Lockless, an Argyle teacher, in the release.

“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 isn’t the only example of Vancouver teachers getting creative during the COVID-19 pandemic: Amy Bothwell, a Grade 5 teacher at Qayqayt Elementary school in New Westminster, wanted to help her students come up with new ways to support their communities while in-class learning is suspended - but in this case, with students were the ones showcasing their efforts on camera.

Bothwell asked her students to snap a photo, or film themselves, doing something that helped others. She compiled her students’ submissions into a heartwarming montage of good deeds.

“The students really just took it and ran with it,” Bothwell said in the release.

“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.”

As students remain out of the classroom for the time being, digital resources like these videos are proving to be helpful in continuing their learning and keeping connected with their classmates.

To that end, the Ministry of Education has developed a website, Keep Learning BC, for parents to help support their children, and said it is providing a number of licensed web platforms - for example, the Zoom collaboration tool - to school districts to help keep these school communities connected.

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