Thursday, 30 October 2014

Making Global Connections

I have started a cool new school project with a colleague who I have never met.  It is quite an interesting experience. But one that I would do any time I was asked.

The project is all about global connections and though we are in the same province and to be honest quite close it still is a rich experience for our students.  The project started when I was contacted through twitter by Sharon Moskovitz.  She told me that I was recommended by others who I have made good connections with for some help.  This then turned into a great conversation about our classrooms and global connections. Now our two classrooms are doing various projects together.  The funny thing is that we still haven't met face to face. And even though all we have had is conversations over the phone and through google docs she is a colleague and connections that I cherish and love having.

This is what we have been doing: 

1) Planning through Google Docs: 

Through conversations over the phone, and google docs we have been able to plan this whole project. It has been quite an amazing experience. And yes we realize that we can use hangout but just haven't had time to set it up.

2) Introduced ourselves through Google Draw: 

3) Global Read aloud of "the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane": 

             For this project the students have written each other letters to talk about their predictions and their questions.  The classes have also written the next chapter in the book. Our next steps is to take what we predicted and see if that will be correct. We are going to read the next chapter in the story and then compare it to the document.  We also plan on connecting each student with someone else and then have them write the next chapter, just like we did.

4) Global Math Projects:

        We also started a global math project. The students will be learning about "Right to Play". This is a great organization who is investing time into making sure all children have the right to play sports.  We also are exploring what sports various countries and cities like to play. We have a google form that we sent out to the world. The students will be comparing this data and drawing conclusions and hopefully making an action plan from it.

These are just some small ideas that we are working on. I know there are a lot more, so please if you have any let me or Sharon know. We would honestly love to hear from you. 

Global connections allow you to teach your students using real life situations and allow you to work with other classrooms across the world. It not only gives you really cool projects but it is such a rich learning environment for both the students and teachers.  As teachers our lives can get pretty busy and we can often isolate ourselves within our four walls but in my opinion when we open those walls up the learning and growth is so much richer.  Our students often do not get experiences to see outside of their community let alone be a part of other communities in their own country and around the world. We often talk about broadening the experiences of our students, there is no better way then connecting to various classrooms around the world.

Through this project our students are learning about each others lives and the lives of the world. They are seeing other peoples opinions and viewpoints and learning to collaborate with others who they have never met.

Our hopes is that they will become better at understanding the world around them and have a better appreciation for those close by.

Global Connections are lot of fun because they produce such amazing expereinces for teaches and students. I know that many of you do these types of projects would love to hear your ideas? What Global connections have you made? How do you plan for them? Any advice for me as a rookie? Any cool projects you would suggest next? Love to hear your thoughts.

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