A shared learning of the virus: A distance learning class and an in-person class interact over bacteria and COVID

    Image courtesy Pagosa Peak Open School
    Distance-learning students from Pagosa Peak Open School learned about COVID-19 and completed a project over the last few months that included, in part, posters that can be seen around town.

    By Alison Beach
    Pagosa Peak Open School

    This year, Pagosa Peak Open School has taught a distance learning class in addition to in-person classes. Emily Murphy’s distance learning class has students in all levels and grades, and they have been working on a COVID-related project over the past few months.

    These students have created and hung posters around Pagosa Springs, recorded a radio public health announcement, and made videos to teach about viruses/bacteria and how to stay healthy.

    Two kindergartners from Murphy’s class, Amalie and Zeke, made informational videos about COVID and other germs for Karla Parker Choat’s in-person kindergarten class. The in-person kindergarteners loved seeing children their own age present and were very engaged by Amelie’s video presentation about bacteria.

    Paisley, a kindergartener, loved the music and sparkles at the beginning of the video. Other kindergarteners from Choat’s class gave their reactions. Elias said he found it very inspiring because he did not know what bacteria looked like. Noa said she liked how Amalie reminded us to sing the ABCs while we washed out hands so we wash our hands long enough. She said Mrs. Karla told us at the beginning of the year but that she forgot and she was glad Amalie reminded her.

    Wyatt made the connection that when Amalie and Zeke showed pictures of the virus and the bacteria, he realized that both of them can make you sick. Payton said she did not know that some bacteria are good and she thought it was yucky that we had bacteria in our tummies. She said she was going to make sure that she only ate eggs that are cooked. Hazel loved the big bacteria that could not get into Amalie’s mask.

    In reaction to Zeke’s video presentation about the virus, Kendall, an in-person kinder from Choat’s class, thought the virus was very beautiful and surprised that it makes you sick because it is so pretty. Noa said she is going to eat more fruit so she can stay healthy.

    Kateri loved how Zeke was showing the globe because coronavirus is all over the world. Emily thought it was scary how coronavirus squeezes your lungs, making it hard to breathe. Sedona was glad to see what coronavirus looked like because she always wondered what the virus looked like. Wyatt liked how both Amalie and Zeke told us how we can stay safe like wearing masks, washing hands and eating healthy foods.

    In such a time where we are all learning about this new virus and what it takes to stay healthy, it is fascinating to watch such young minds engage through various forms of technological and personal communication to learn about bacteria and COVID together.