Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Skype projects-part 2

Who says collaboration can't happen across states? As I've mentioned before, my class had several wonderful Skype partners this year, but Mrs. Christian and I definitely found a special relationship (are you blushing yet my friend??) From all of our collaborations came an opportunity for Mrs. C to present at a technology conference for her district on the topic of Skype. Needless to say, I will be joining her on this adventure to talk about our collaborations. Unfortunately, I do not have a plane ticket to Texas (can't say I didn't try) and so I will be joining her via Skype tomorrow morning. I am very excited to share our very special adventure with those that attend and hope that it will spark the imaginations of others to venture out and find a global connection.

I blogged last time about a Skype project that I recently did with our high school pre-calc class. Today I'd like to tell you a bit about the project... warning... this will likely turn into a novel. Skype Money Match is what we called our project and this is how it worked. The objective of this project was to give my students additional practice creating money amounts using coins.

First, each of my 1st grade students received a money bag with the following coins... 1 quarter, 4 nickels, 2 dimes, and 4 pennies. Prior to our Skype call I wrote down several amounts that could be made with the coins that we had. 

The rules of the game were simple...  both groups were told the amount of money they needed to make. My students used their coins to create the amount in any way they could. A correct answer earned them a small Starburst candy. The high school math students also had to create the amount, however, they did not have coins to use nor did they know which coins or how many of each coin we had.  After my students were done creating the amount, one of the high school students share with us how they chose to create the amount. For each 1st grader that made it the same way, the high school student earned a small Starburst candy. I have 15 children in my class so the high school students had the potential of earning 15 pieces. My kiddos caught on quickly and soon realized that when making 25cents, a quarter would be too easy for our buddies to figure out and so they began to get more and more creative with how they built their amounts. This was a great way to get my students to challenge themselves. Our buddies also began to rise to the challenge and after several amounts began to realize that they needed to be more creative with the way they were putting their amounts together as well. As an added incentive, our buddy teacher, Mr. J, showed us his large bucket of Starburst candies and told us that whatever his students didn't win, he would send over to us. In the end we outsmarted our buddies and ended up getting a large bowl of additional candies which we then used as part of our fraction lesson for the day. 
Overall it was a wonderful experience that totally met the objective that I had for my kiddos and created a wonderful global learning experience for both groups of students. 
Want to know more? Feel free to contact me for specifics.

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