In February, we spend a lot of class time studying other cultures as well as our own. It is more important NOW than it’s ever been to increase the scope/reach of our classroom. Students need to understand there is a larger, “global” classroom out there. While it is extremely limiting to consider traveling to other places, it is NOT limiting at all when we visit other classrooms or teacher-celebrities via Skype!
Over the Christmas break, I made plans to contact our new tech administrator and ask that he install my doc camera and microphone on the school teacher station computer. Just last week, we were connected for the first time!
Who to Skype with first? That was easy! I have a great friend who blogs over at Mrs. Price’s Kindergators. She called us last Thursday and read a great book to our class. We interacted with her first graders and talked about the main idea of the story she read. What an AMAZING way to spark interest in a book! Our connection was a bit pixelated, but mostly great. Sometimes Skype has a less than favorable connection, but there is a solution: Just hang up and retry the connection. The second time was better! Thanks to Mrs. Price for helping us get our toes wet!
Skype has enabled our little class from a rural setting to broaden our horizons! Next up was my dear friend Debbie from Rainbows Within Reach. Her music is inspiring, and her connection with children is nothing short of magical! Here is a snippet of our visit with Debbie Clement:
And, just today, Mr. Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard Skyped with my class and read a wonderful book with a familiar chant to get students involved and interactive!
Here is a snippet of his fun read with our students:
Diversity is what it’s all about! We have Skyped with someone from Deleware, someone from Florida and someone from Nashville, TN! What a great lesson in geography! We also talked about time zones and how it was later for Mrs. Debbie than it was for Mr. Greg. Mr. Greg is in our time zone. We talked about how the voice of teachers from other areas may have a different accent because of the region they come from. My own students know that I have a slight southern accent! What a fun time we have had!
If you are interested in scheduling a Skype visit with our classroom, private message me on Twitter @maggieskinder We are in the central time zone and are available at 9-10:00 a.m., most days. I try not to schedule more than one visit per week. In addition to what I have mentioned, here is one more fun tip: Print a photo of your “Mystery” Guest, then cut it into puzzle pieces. Reveal a new piece each day and allow students to guess who it might be. This has been a big hit with my class!
For additional information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org