Once again, the coronavirus pandemic hits home — literally. On Wednesday, Benji started second grade at his new school… from his little closet-office in his bedroom.

First Day of School 2020 - Ready to start 2nd grade
Ready to learn.
First Day of School 2020 - Remote learning
Second grade online.

One interesting thing about this is that I get to be a fly on the wall if I want. I can hear what the teacher tells the class during synchronous learning time, and then follow up with him during asynchronous learning time. Asynchronous is a heck of a word for second graders to absorb, but the kids will learn what it means through direct experience.

The overall learning model at the moment is for the kids to have some direct teaching time over Zoom, interacting with the teacher and each other during synchronous learning time. The teacher has adopted hand signs for “I have something to add,” “I disagree,” “I have a question,” and “I have to go to the bathroom,” among others, which I thought was clever. Then she gives the kids short assignments to do on their own during the asynchronous time. The kids log off and go draw the picture or whatever, but then can play when they’re done. They also save two hours midday for lunch and recess.

To start with, kids have two or three synchronous learning times during the day, with the rest of the day asynchronous. It sounds like in a few weeks, when they really start getting into learning new material, the teacher intends to do more shorter synchronous times with smaller groups of kids.

Today we start day three of this model. I’m glad something has started, and honestly I’m deeply thankful for our school district, which has planned for all-online for a long time and is therefore fairly well prepared.

I have more thoughts about the teacher and class, but I’ll save those for another post. Summary: I’m already really glad we chose EAP for Benji. It’s going to be such a good fit for him to be in this class with this teacher.

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