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classroomI went to a one room school, grades one to eight. I believe methods used there might help in the current back to school dilemma. Our teacher would start at the grade ones at 9:00 am and would only reach the grade eights by about 11:30 am. Everybody knew what they were supposed to do before the teacher got to them. People in each class tended to work together (quietly) or at least could ask a classmate a question if they were stuck.

Bringing that concept forward to today, I would suggest having students assembled in permanent groups of four who would work together without masks but socially distanced from other groups. Each group would have a range of academic ability so that natural leaders might evolve (rather than being designated). The teacher would then move from group to group as required. Students might learn skills (working in a group) that might not be found in a regular classroom setting. It might even help to assign marks based on the group and not individuals.

Most importantly students (or parents) should not be allowed to choose who is in their group. This should not degenerate into choosing up sides for a baseball game and having some poor soul being the last one chosen.

Bill Moses
Owen Sound


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