One of my 7th graders was absent on a fun day in Spanish class that only happens at the end of each trimester. We have an auction where we get to spend the currency we have been earning for months for participating only in Spanish during class. Here is an awesome video of the experience. We skyped Fe into our classroom and sat her at her table so that she would not miss out!
So then….I sent my 6th graders an email and told them (it was a surprise!) that we would be talking to a 5th grade ENGLISH teacher in Argentina today on Skype. I sent them a link to her students’ blogs http://kidblog.org/ourgoodnews/
And they were immediately engrossed in reading the English blogs that the Spanish-speaking children had created! I did not have to give them any direction. They just began to READ and post COMMENTS and were so excited to see that kids living in another continent share interests like soccer, football, Justin Beiber and FOOD! They were very nervous to talk to the teacher in SPANISH so we made a deal to indroduce ourselves in Spanish and then ask questions in English. THE QUESTIONS THAT MY AMAZING STUDENTS FORMULATED WERE SO GREAT AND THOUGHTFUL! Here is the video! What a great experience this was for them and for me!!! I can have them read and read until their brains explode about Argentina…but this made it REAL for them!
Today I began my day with my 3rd graders. We see each other every Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:00-9:30. We are learning transportation words right now…three, in particular that we are focusing on are: el carro/el coche-the car, el avión-the airplane, el autobús-the bus. Last week I showed them how easy it was to make a video using http://www.animoto.com
They googled some images (three to be exact) of each of our vocabulary words and then worked in groups at their tables to “produce” an Animoto video. I gave them my username and password and LOOK AT WHAT THEY CREATED IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES!
This first post is in honor of my great friend Laura Walker and this wonderful new friend that I met today on Skype.
So here I go writing in honor of the great, enthusiastic, open-minded Greta Sandler. She is a is 5th grade ESL Teacher in Argentina. We Skyped today with about six other colleagues of mine and she inspired me to finally do this. She told me that as a teacher I really do have something to share. I have things to share that might help, animate, entertain, inspire other educators like she has.
My friend Laura Walker has been BLOGGING for YEARS now sharing her life with the world, making me smile, love life and look forward to what might be coming next in her posts!
So here goes….
Today, again, I realized the importance of globally educating my darling sheltered students. My students are very apt to travel, and vacations to far away places are part of their lives….but I want to make sure to connect them to other students their age (so easily) through Skype, blogs and wikis so that we can empathize and understand how everyone else lives! We are so sheltered here in this tiny suburb of Chicago and truly seeing how others live can change lives and make us think differently.
So Skype US! We are ready and willing to talk and learn together any time!