Saturday, September 7, 2019

Connecting Your Students To The World Through Mystery Skype!

One of our favorite ways to connect to others around the world is through Mystery Skype
A Mystery Skype is an educational game which is played by two classrooms trying to guess the location of the other class.  The two classrooms ask yes or no questions back and forth, until one of the classrooms correctly guesses the location of the other classroom.  
It is so much fun and we all learn so much about the location and classroom we are Skyping with! 
My colleague and friend, Ann Volk, who teaches third grade at Van Meter, wanted to kick off the year with Mystery Skype's as we had so much success with them last year.  
Mystery Skype's are a wonderful way to teach and practice geography skills.  By kicking off the year with Mystery Skype's, we are making sure we hook them with a passion for wanting to know more about the geography of the United States and the world. 
 On Friday, we set up a Mystery Skype with my friend and fellow Skype Master Teacher,
Steve Auslander and his students in Indianapolis, Indiana. 
To prepare for the Mystery Skype, our 3rd graders discussed the geography of the United States and familiarized themselves with the map of the United States and other landmarks and geography facts.
As each class asked yes and no questions back and forth, we all learned a lot about the geography of the United States.
To make sure everyone was involved, I created these Mystery Skype Yes and No Signs for everyone to hold up during the Mystery Skype.  You will find them here.  Please feel free to copy and make changes.
The Mystery Skype Yes and No Signs, ensure that every student is involved and engaged during the Mystery Skype. 
It is also important to have students maps, globes and classroom wall maps available during a Mystery Skype.

The students can look at the maps and have wonderful conversations around the questions asked and things being learned.
We loved our Mystery Skype with Steve's students and can't wait to many more this year with Ann's group and all of the other classrooms at Van Meter too. 
As we head into the new year, we will be visiting the Skype online, especially the Mystery Skype page here

If you are new to Mystery Skype, there are lots of helpful resources on this page on the Microsoft site. 
First, click on Opt in for Mystery Skype. 
You will find the Mystery Skype Activity Plans here
 Second, click on Mystery Skype Resources. 
You will find the Mystery Skype Curriculum OneNote here

As shared on this page, This OneNote was created by educators just like you and includes free resources and ideas on how you can incorporate this game in your classroom and will help you plan and play Mystery Skype with another classroom across the globe … or around the corner.
And third, you will find the Mystery Skype GoNoodle Song here too!  This is a great way to get your students excited about Mystery Skype
You will find it here
You can find another classroom or guest speaker to play Mystery Skype with here

The sky is the limit of who you connect with and who you bring to your students. 

This year, Ann and I can't wait to bring lots of amazing and meaningful connections to her students.  And we can't wait to bring to even more to other classrooms at Van Meter.   

You can find out more about Mystery Skype here and please let me know what questions you have and how I can help you too. 

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