Thursday, September 19, 2013

Joyce & I Brought Our Students Together For A Little Teaching Across Grades and States

It is so rewarding being a teacher when we see our young people empowered by an experience they have at school.  Especially to have the experience teaching someone something you know how to do really well.

This week my wonderful friend Joyce Valenza and I saw this happen when we brought together the global studies honors class at Springfield Township School in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and four 4th graders at Van Meter Community School in Van Meter, Iowa.
At the beginning of the month, Joyce wrote Where in the world? GeoGuessr as a literacy tool on her NeverEnding Search blog at School Library Journal. I had told Joyce all about GeoGuessr one day because my 4th and 5th graders have been loving it at Van Meter.
My kids and I learned about GeoGuessr from Steve Gagnon and his 5th graders in New Hampshire at the beginning of September.  We had learned how important it is to look for clues in pictures, how to use Google Maps, and a lot about distance.
You can read about connection here...Mr. G's Class In New Hampshire Teaches Our 4th Graders In Iowa About GeoGuesser......Let The Games Begin!
Joyce and I then thought it would be fun to have my 4th and 5th graders teach her global studies honor students all about GeoGuessr.  It would be a great tie-in with global studies with her high school students.

The fourth graders came down to the library early and set up the Google Hangout with my laptop. They were so excited when the laptop rang and it was Joyce and her kids.  They couldn't wait to tell their new friends in Philadelphia all about themselves and being a student at Van Meter.
The 4th graders took turns showing the students at Springfield all of the components of GeoGuessr.  It didn't take long to explain the rules and they were off!

The first round they all played separate from one another.  Our kids gave them some little tips on finding landmarks for clues and how you can zoom in Google Maps to pin point the location you want to guess.
Next round, we set up a "Challenge" within GeoGuessr.  Once you have a "Challenge" created, GeoGuessr gives you a link to share with others who want to play.  We shared this url and gave ourselves 5 minutes to play.  
As the students finished their round, we told them that the scores would be recorded onto a Padlet. They could find the link to the Padlet at the Van Meter School Symbaloo on the 4th Grade Webmix.

I wish you all could have seen how excited the 4th graders were and how happy the honors class in Philadelphia was too.  It was active, connected, and collaborative learning and teaching.

It wasn't just about learning about and playing GeoGuessr.  It was also about making connections with other young people who are older, live in the eastern part of the country, and who attend a large high school.
            
Everyone was excited and loved the learning that was taking place.
Joyce and I decided hands down that our 4th graders would indeed make great teachers to our older ones.  

And vice versa too. 

I can't wait until we all connect again and see what great will come.  

1 comment:

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