- Ms. Kier – Skyping with Friends in Poland
- Ms. Cowdy – A VoiceThread School Tour
- Ms. Page – Google Earth and 5 Year Olds
- The 1A Class – Visiting Spain
- Mrs. Goggins – Creating a Global Handshake
- Mr. Sheridan – Writing a Collaborative Global Story
Skyping with Friends in Poland – 2/16/12
On Friday mornings we Skype with our friends in Warsaw, Poland. We call them at 8:50 am. It’s 2:50 pm where they live. They were celebrating their 100th day of school last week when we Skyped with them. We asked them 5 questions to get to know them better. We wrote the questions in community writing. We learned a lot about our new friends! We learned that they love the book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, just like we do! They also have the big book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. We thought it was very cool that they have the same books we do. One of their favorite books is called Don’t Let the Duck Stay Stuck. We don’t know that one – but we want to find it in the library! We asked our friends if they have a map. We have one on the wall and one on the computer in Scribblemaps. They have a globe. Ms. Katie got us a globe too, so we can see how the world is round. We wanted to know if our friends have computers. They have a lab, just like we do. Some of the kids have iPads, but not at school. We asked them what kinds of games they play. They play Candyland, just like us! They also like to dress up and pretend play. We do too! They play a game called Simon Says. We don’t play that, but Ms. Katie said it’s like the mirroring we do. We want to play Simon Says one day. Even though our friends are on the other side of the world, they are a lot like us!
A VoiceThread for KinderPals – 12/1/11
A few weeks ago, the children decided to tell KinderPals, their partner Kindergarten class in our Kindergarten Around the World project, about YIS. We brainstormed to come up with a list of important things that the KinderPals might like to know.
The children wrote their initials by the photographs they wanted to take. Over the next week, they went around the school taking photographs. They took many shots and the chose their favorite ones to share with KinderPals.
The children discussed the best way to share this information with KinderPals and decided to make a VoiceThread. They thought that KinderPals might like to leave comments also.
The children have made quite a few VoiceThreads already this term and their development is evident in this most recent one.
Many children were able to leave comments without any help, and the others could comment with a little help from another student.The comments show increasing sense of audience; the children are speaking loudly and clearly and they are including an increasing amount of detail in their comments. When we played back the comments, children were able to offer constructive feedback as “critical friends”.
Google Earth and 5 year olds – 11/17/11
The children want to know where their Twitter buddies live. They know it is in other countries but they are not sure where the countries are. We looked on maps and globes. This was an authentic reason to use Google Earth. This video shows the children’s first exploration of the app.
Watch closely for the:
- children stating findings.
- sharing their new knowledge.
- children posing questions.
- Monitoring the correct use of this session.
Vikings Part 3 – 3/16/12
A month ago our friends in Albaceta, Spain called us and told us about Colombus and what they knew about the Vikings. Now we called them back and told them about what we have learned about the Vikings for the last two weeks. We told them about Viking settlements, The Nordic Gods and the Mythology, the Viking era. We had three languages involved – Danish – English and Spanish. It was really fun and interesting to present our work for someone outside our school.
We (a year 2 class in Singapore) have begun the Flat Classroom project and have met twice now to speak to all the participants together, using Blackboard Collaborate to meet online. The first session I was in such awe of the ability to meet with so many different educators at the same time that I was just smiling the whole time. My class has been matched up with three other classes, two from the US and one from Australia. We have begun by making a class handshake and watching the other handshakes from other classes. We received a Voicethread handshake from the class in San Francisco, and my class sat watching, mesmerized. I can see how technology is changing the the learning landscape – I would have loved to have been a child and collaborating with other classes globally!
Here is the video of my class handshake.
*You can read more about how this project was started and how the project was completed by students (creating an ipad book!) in the full blog post, linked above.
Since our classes were already Twitter friends we decided to capitalize on this and let the kids start conversing about the project using this medium. We also created a shared Google Document that we used as a shared writing space.
Our classes decided that we should meet “face to face” via Skype before we began. We had a very cool Skype session where the students shared ideas and feelings about the project as well as random but nonetheless valuable kindergarten musings.
To begin our class sat down at the Smartboard and used the G-doc as a space to brain storm ideas. Each class started jotting down ideas for character, setting, plot etc. Our classes also outlined purpose, audience, and potential challenges. Some of the challenges our students came up with were:
How will we share the story?
What language should we write it in?
Too much audience? Maybe children for the audience.
We might have trouble spelling all the words correctly.
We might have to make a compromise.
As you can see the students were already thinking in quite a holistic way. Since these ideas were coming from other kinder kids they held tremendous relevance with the students. The students developed a sense of ownership right from the beginning.
After a couple brain storming session which we documented using the G-doc and some back and forth via twitter our students had decided that the story would begin in a cemetery. Each of our classes decided to visit a cemetery as a way to build context. We decided that each class should document their field-trip and shared it via their respective class blog. Lucky for us we have a cemetery within walking distance of our classroom. We set up a field-trip, gathered some parent volunteers and set out one afternoon.
The students were armed with iPods to help document our field-trip. They used the camera function to capture pictures and video of our trip. We then took this and created a post for our class blog which allowed our partner class to go with us, albeit virtually, on our field-trip. Our partner class in Japan did the exact same thing for us. The students had a great time sitting on the carpet and comparing and contrasting each others field-trips as we read them on our Smartboard during our morning meeting.