Saturday, March 9, 2013

It All Started WIth A Little Tweet.....And Turned Into A Game of Jeopardy, Searching Together, A Google Hangout, and Becoming Online Classmates in Edmodo

This story started with a little tweet.

A tweet from my friend Tom Murray, director of technology at Quakertown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  I connected with Tom on Twitter and he invited our students at Van Meter to Skype with him on Digital Learning Day 2013, which he spent in Washington D.C.
Through our connection with Tom on #DLDay, he introduced Elissa Malespina, teacher librarian, and Melissa Butler, 6th grade English teacher,  at South Orange Middle School
After a few tweets back and forth, it was clear that this was going to be an amazing new connection, and most of all a great new relationship with two wonderful educators.  

Elissa and I first started planning using Twitter and email.  We decided that we were going to collaborate on a project for World Read Aloud Day with our 5th and 6th grade classes. 
First we threw around the idea of a Mystery Skype but how could we tie that into WRAD.  We would have a Mystery Book Skype using JeopardyLabs.com to create a game which would contain questions and answers the students wrote. 

This lesson would also focus on the students doing web searches using Google.  They would all have a laptop with them that they would be using as we played Jeopardy so we wanted to do a mini-lesson in the beginning about Google Search.  
At this point our collaboration moved into a Google Doc where we would build our Lesson Plan and materials together.  
Also, Janelle and I started a Google Doc to share with each other and our students.  We collaborated on the questions in the different categories and put the final Jeopardy questions and answers in this Google Doc too.  
Elissa and Melissa did the same thing in New Jersey.   
We also met and planned in Google Hangout, which worked awesome!  
Both of our classes use Edmodo, so we created the WRAD Mystery Book Skype Edmodo Group.  This would give our students a space to connect and get to know one another before we played Jeopardy too. 
We gave all of the students these Google Search Star sheets and found a great video to show too.  
The Twitter collaboration worked great all throughout the planning and development of the lesson.  We were so excited the day before.....And made sure everything was set for our Jeopardy connection.
On March 7th, we all connected in Google Hangout!  Our students were so happy in both of our New Jersey and Iowa classrooms....It was so fun seeing all of them.
Elissa made up this Jeopardy Template to help us follow along with the questions and points.  
And the really great thing about Google Hangout.....It can be RECORDED for free!  I love that feature so much.  In the video above you can see our entire connection.
As we played through the Jeopardy game, we started off with 2 minutes to answer.  That was soon obvious that was a little long, so we shortened it to 1 minute.
I loved seeing the young people working so hard at finding the answer using the search skills they knew and the ones they just learned.
Mrs. Thompson had printed off the template for todays Jeopardy game and gave that to them too.  I really liked seeing how this girl had the planning Google Doc open too.  It was interesting to see how they were researching the questions.
One boy even had me come look at his screen and what he wrote....

All in good fun.  :)
I was really impressed by the 5th and 6th graders.  They took so much pride and ownership in this project.
The score was very very close but at the end VAN METER won!  We told them in the Edmodo Group and in person that the losers would have to send a gift to the other school.  My kids were super excited to see what they were going to get from New Jersey.
They introduced themselves and thanked the other team at the end of our Skype connection.
When we finished the students asked me when the next Skype was with our new friends in New Jersey.  They said it was one of the most fun they had in class all year. 
Before they all went to class, Elissa and I reminded them of the "Mystery Book Skype Take Away" in the WRAD Edmodo Group.  We can't wait to look over these answers together.  It will be really interesting to take a look inside of what they think about our connections and collaboration. 
As I read the first one, I saw that they definitely found this experience awesome too! 
Definitely one of my all-time favorite projects and connections all around.  

And just like another wonderful tweet from Tom after our connection.....

It starts with a little tweet.  

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