Little Knights participate in online learning

Before+BSM+went+to+extended+online+school%2C+the+Little+Knights+read+every+week+with+one+of+the+ninth+grade+English+classes.+Now+they+have+had+to+take+all+of+their+learning+online.

Alice Petty

Before BSM went to extended online school, the Little Knights read every week with one of the ninth grade English classes. Now they have had to take all of their learning online.

Flint Frohman, Staff Writer

Just like the rest of the students attending Benilde-St. Margaret’s and schools across the globe, the Little Knights have begun doing online school.

The online program started off fairly quickly, with them beginning around the same time as the rest of BSM. “It was within the first week that we started some version of keeping in touch” Ms. Heidi Wolf, Little Knights Lead Teacher said.

The Little Knights teachers have had one-way communication to continue reading stories and maintain a connection with the Little Knights. “So we have sent video messages from us––either stories being read and we’re holding up a book, or we have just been sort of having an interactive chat where we walk and we talk to the video recorder, and talk about what we’re doing and send some sort of message where we say something like ‘Maybe you could try gardening with your mom,’” Wolf said. 

They also have been offering one-on-one and group meet-ups to keep in contact with the Knights. “We’ve done a couple of individual meet-ups and we’ve done some group time, where we all signed in together; I think the individuals came out of the group time with everybody because it was so difficult to hear everyone speak… we thought ‘let’s have them sign up for a one-on-one if they wanted to do that,’” Wolf said. 

The Little Knights have expressed excitement at being able to maintain communications with Little Knight leadership, and are eager to share their experiences. “They seem to like still being able to communicate with us. They seem really excited when we do a video chat; they’re excited to see each other when we’ve had the few group meets; they’ve been excited to tell us what we’re doing.” Little Knights Assistant Carrie Nolan said. 

They seem to like still being able to communicate with us. They seem really excited when we do a video chat; they’re excited to see each other when we’ve had the few group meets; they’ve been excited to tell us what we’re doing.”

— Carrie Nolan

There is back-and-forth communication between the teachers and Little Knights, allowing them to display things that they’re doing. “Even outside of the group chats or the one-on-one video meets, they’ve been sending us pictures or videos via the parent communication app we use. One little guy was playing his little plastic ukulele. I think it was in response to a video I had sent him of me playing my violin,” Nolan said.

Social distancing can be difficult, and keeping in touch with the Little Knights allows them to still experience social interaction. “One of them learned to ride a bike while we were away, a two-wheeler, and she sent a video of her saying ‘I did it! I can do it!’ Because she was trying so hard before we left school with the bikes we had out on the track that she was just so excited to show us,” Wolf said.

The readings recorded and sent by the teachers are well-received by the Little Knights.“I think that they’ve been pretty responsive, especially with some of the story recordings. They have said to us that they watch it many times. they want to hear it again,” Wolf said.

The teachers have organized a way for the reading buddies to continue working during this time, and have freshmen read every Wednesday to the Little Knights. “Every Wednesday the Little Knights have reading buddies, so Ms. Koshiol and Ms. Manos have organized a way for the reading buddies to still read to the Little Knights, and they’re just doing the same things that we’re doing. They’re recording themselves reading, and they’re sending it, and the Little Knights still are seeing their reading buddy read a story to them,” Nolan said.

Though the teachers have been managing, it remains difficult to keep a strong connection with the Little Knights. “We really value the physical time we spend with these kids from when they’re one to when they go to kindergarten, so it’s really hard not to be with them, to be watching them, interacting with them. So it’s been a struggle and it will continue to be a struggle but we’ve tried to be as creative as possible with it,” said Nolan.