What a great year of Skype'ing (not sure if that's a word, but for the purpose of this post it's going to be) My class has been very fortunate this year to have made several contacts throughout the year. Our main contact was with Mrs. Christian's 1st grade class in Texas. I still giggle at the way our meeting came to be through a connection from this blog (Mrs. C- I'm so glad that you sent that original email!) From that initial contact a friendship grew and a Skype opportunity arose. Our classes Skype'd on the average once every week or every other week. We shared what we were learning, read our writing to each other and even attempted to hatch chicks via Skype. We even sent a couple of projects via Snail Mail. It was a wonderful experience and one which my kiddos and I thoroughly enjoyed. It was amazing how fast my kiddos could move if they heard the Skype tones ringing!
Another opportunity arose from a student in my class whose dad is a math teacher at our high school. She wanted to Skype with her dad but I wanted to be sure we had a purpose to our contact. Her dad contacted me about a problem-based learning unit he was doing with his pre-calc class and asked if we would like to be a part of it. Our job was to measure the length, width, and height the box in centimeters and then to report our information via Skype to his class. It was a great way for us to practice our measuring skills and to make the initial contact. Notice I said initial, from here, everything spiraled into a 4th quarter friendship. My student wrote a thank you to her dad's class, in turn a few of his kids wrote back to her which then turned into his whole class wanting to write to my class. Needless to say our one-time only Skype session turned into so much more. Our classes were writing letters back and forth to each other, we got to meet each other in person and do math together, and Mr. J and I were working to figure out new ways to connect our classes via Skype. Two of the projects we came up with were: Skype Money Match and Polygon Pictionary. The Money Match game was thought up after his students walked down to meet us in person (our schools are just a few blocks away from each other) and on their way back they (all juniors and seniors) were discussing what their buddies were good at and what they felt they needed more help with.
Seeing as it's getting late, I will write about the projects and how they worked in my next post tomorrow night.