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と、 at the beginning of the sentence

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Hello,

Can you please help me with this use of と? Some kids were shown how to use a そろばん. At the end they are asked what they thought. This is one of the kid's response:
ふしぎだなと思いました。と、自然に計算ができるから、そろばんってすごいなと思いました。

Does the と from the beginning of the second sentence come from と言って with the following meaning?
接続詞的に用いて、逆接の意を表す。とはいっても。だけれど。「この仕事は単純だ。―だれにでもできる仕事ではない」
 

Toritoribe

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と言って can't be replaced with と.
と as a conjunction is usually the shortened form of すると, but it seems a typo of or colloquial/slangy way of saying あと or それと in your example to me.
 
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Thank you! I will take it as a variation of それと then.

The kids aren't actually Japanese so it could be that she made a mistake. If you wish to take a look, here is the link: 動画の再生|やってみよう|第17課. The phrase is right at the end of the video (right before みなさんもそろばんをやってみてください。). It is the last girl who speaks.
 
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Thank you! I stumbled upon another sentence starting with と. It's a lesson titled 高校生のカバンの中.
エリン:(高校生のカバンの中に)本もありますね。
高校生:と、電車の中でひまな時とか読みます。
動画の再生|見てみよう|第18課. Where the slider should be:

Is that と、the quoting particle? I guess he uses it to explain what Erin had just said?

Is there something non-colloquial that has the same usage as this と? I feel like there should be, but nothing that I think of seems to fit.
 
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