PUTTING THE DISTANCE INTO DISTANCE LEARNING
Nobody is happy about being stuck at home for the last three months, but there have been plenty of things to feel good about.
Example: our students put the distance into distance learning this spring by compiling more miles in pursuit of Toe Tokens in one month than any group of Seabury students before them.
“You have guys have changed the history of Seabury’s Toe Token program,” said PE teacher Nicol Askew – Coach Nicol – during one of her weekly Zoom meetings with students. “We typically average about 100 miles a month, but last month you guys did 1,000 miles.”
Our Toe Token program encourages students to run or walk by rewarding them with tiny rubber feet based on the mileage they compile – primarily during PE but also at recess and at home.
Coach Nicol made it a priority to keep the program alive during distance learning by being flexible about the kind of activities that could generate miles. Ronin, for example, padded his total on a pogo stick.
And then there’s Lizzy. “I’m going to have a lot more miles because I’m going to be getting a new two-wheel scooter and I’m going to be practicing a lot,” she said.
Coach Nicol will distribute the tokens when students and families stop at school to pick up take-home items when school ends next week.
“We added some new awards this year because of the progress made by some of the kids,” she said. “We now have kids who have completed more than 200 miles over the course of the year. Two are trying very hard to make 300 before school ends.”
Besides keeping the Toe Token program alive during lockdown, Coach Nicol prescribed other optional fitness activities, including scavenger hunts and the alphabet workout in which every letter of the alphabet is assigned a fitness move and students spell their name by performing the move assigned to each letter of their name.
Coach Nicol calls her weekly Zoom meetings with students – which occur Thursdays at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – virtual recess. The meetings and assignments are optional and students are free to log in and out as they please.
Virtual recess may not provide much cardio, but with plenty of time set aside for kids to converse, it‘s a big boost for their social and emotional health during this prolonged period of isolation.
“They’re learning even more about each other than they would during regular recess,” Coach Nicol said.