Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘pen_pals’

Creating Global Learners! Projects and ResourcesThat Knock Down Classroom Walls!

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

Edmodo- Gotta Love It!

I have to admit, I thought I had written a post  about Edmodo. Why wouldn’t I?  Ever since I discovered it, it has been a staple in my 5th grade class. However, I realized I didn’t, when I read another post, “Edmodo, yes”!   from the blog Technology Chatter.  How could I have forgotten to write about Edmodo, which  has made my life wonderfully easy.  How?   When I describe it to colleagues, I call it the “Facebook for Educators”, but it’s more than that.  I post assignments on Edmodo every day. Not just “read page 43 in your textbook” assignments either. I can post images, videos, questions, tests, worksheets, polls, have discussions online. Any work I have them “turn in” can be graded online, and their grades are posted privately. No paper! So, it’s environmentally friendly as well.  I have created groups for every subject.  It even has communities where teachers can connect, our own little PLN. And now, they have Edmodo for Parents, still unexplored territory for me.

But my favorite part of Edmodo is my Pen Pal group.  I joined the Language Arts community and asked if anyone was interested in being pen pals. Mrs.T  and I, not only have our classes write to each other, but we also formed a Pen Pal group on Edmodo.  Our classes have shared photos, movie clips, comments, birthday wishes, weekend happenings, weather updates, and our  latest, Voki conversations. I already had a Voki and Mrs.T was kind enough to email me instructions on how to post it. The first thing my kids do in the morning is check Edmodo to see if their pen pals wrote them, they are so excited! Recently Mrs.T sent pics of the beach, after I sent pics of the kids in the snow.:) It’s just a great way for them to communicate with students outside of their school, outside of their state! The students are writing and Mrs. T and I are sharing ideas. I know as the year progresses, I am sure we will discover more ways we can connect our classes.  In the meantime, I will continue to use Edmodo in my class, my own little piece of educator heaven.:)

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