Writing my way through the school year!

With the technology we have today, a one-room classroom should no longer exist! All of our students are capable of being or becoming global learners.  We have the ability, using any, or all, of the Web 2.0 tools available, to knock down our classroom walls, and allow our students the chance to collaborate with students in their state, or the world.  During the 2010 school year,  I took advantage of many resources, SKYPE, Epals, Kidblog, (in conjunction with comments4kids), and the various Edmodo communities.  All of  these resources allowed me the chance to reach out to teachers all over the world, and have their students interact with my students. This year I am going to add  Collaborize Classroom as another tool to extend my classroom.

Here are two projects that I have already joined, and one I have created.  I’m excited!  Please feel free to add your class to any of these projects!

1.   Mystery State Skype project – This project is run by a teacher I met on Edmodo.  Our classes were pen pals, and she and I had a chance to meet F2F at the ISTE convention in Philly. Teachers set up a Skype conference and use information they have researched, to guess what state the other class is from.  This can be done with all the teachers who have signed up. When your call is done, you can continue your collaboration with any of the teachers throughout the school year!

2.    Global Read Aloud project 2011 – This is my first time being involved with this project, although it is not the first time it has been done.   The Global Read Aloud  project is exactly what it says. A book is chosen, and students from all over the world interact to discuss this book. The project is divided into a K-3 book, and 4th and up(“Tuck, Everlasting”)The teachers choose the media they wish to guide discussions, Skype, online learning platforms, email, glogs, the sky is the limit! I believe this will be a wonderful learning experience for my class!

3.    ” Penpals Who Write” project – Teachers who are interested in having their class WRITE another class, please sign up and connect! Web 2.0 is acceptable, but you must write letters, that’s part of the experience.  I had two pen pal classes last year and it was a wonderful experience.  Not only did we interact using Web 2.0 tools, but we actually wrote letters and mailed them to each other.  Have you ever witnessed the excitement of a student when they receive their  letter?  How about the anticipation of waiting for the next one? Priceless! This was definitely a project that opened their world and helped improve their writing skills. You can also join the group I have created on EduPLN.

If you know of a project for the upcoming school year, please add it! Let’s move those walls!

“Share Global Classroom Projects” on Lino


Comments on: "Creating Global Learners! Projects and ResourcesThat Knock Down Classroom Walls!" (3)

  1. Richard Cottingham said:

    Please understand that my comments here are not ment to belittle or demean your enthusiasm in any way. I just wonder how you can do it.

    The last 8 or 9 years that I was in the classroom I was not allowed to do the sorts of activities you are advocating in your post. The only way I could even consider it ws if I could show conclusively that the time the kids would spend on the activities would prepare them for specific objectives of the Standards of Learning (Virginia’s name for the NCLB curriculum). We spent so much time giving trial tests, look-alike tests, tests made up of questions formerly used on the SOL Tests, Benchmark tests and make-up tests that there was little time for anything like what you describe in your post.

    I sincerely believe that what you say here is worth reading and describes potentially beneficial activities for students. I see some possible logistical problems in managing students on the computer that much (keeping them on task and not on facebook or youtube) but if you have them excited enough about what you’re asking them to do it is surely doable.

    Good Luck.

    • Richard, I was able to do it, even though I understand your concern. Even though I had to test my students three times a year, I refused to become that teacher who only teaches to the test. It is a disservice to them ,and to my profession. So, yes, I was able to, and I will again, use the projects I have mentioned and more. I also have access to laptops and the computer lab, and I had no problem managing my students, and keeping them on task. Our district blocks Youtube and Facebook, so that was not a concern I had. I feel if the student is engaged enough, they will stay on task. Of course, not always, and that’s when consequences are implemented. If what the students are doing is related to the curriculum, administrators should not have a problem with it, mine didn’t. I am looking forward to another exciting, engaged, year!

  2. Thanks for the shout out! Looking forward to doing it again this year, except I am going to have to set you up with another class 😦 But I will be there for all Skype calls and to set everything up for you!!

    Talk soon!

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