Over the summer, my amazing friend Tracy Ferguson, who teachers 2nd grade at Van Meter Community School, wrote me about an idea she had.
She wanted to keep Skype open throughout the day as a place for her students to connect and read with other students around the world.
Tracy wrote, I thought if this window was opened each day, students could be reading into it whether there was someone on the other side or not. Students could unmute it when they were ready to listen and then read themselves. I thought they could even introduce themselves and talk some too.
Of course I loved the idea from the start! This would be the perfect way to practice reading while connecting to others around the world. Tracy and I have done a lot of Skyping over the years when we worked together at Van Meter and continue to find ways to bring Skype to her classroom throughout the year. This was one of the best connections we will have yet!
About the same time, I connected with 2nd grade teacher Sara Frater. She is from Minnesota.
She was posting amazing Buncee's she was creating and a new way to celebrate reading. I saw this and just knew I wanted to get involved.
Once I saw all of the wonderful things she was doing in her 2nd grade classroom, I knew I had to get Sara and Tracy together.
After they connected in an email, Tracy even Skyped into Sara's classroom to plan the Reading Window and more.
Now when you come into Tracy classroom in Van Meter this is the scene you will see and...
...this is the view from Sara's Skype Reading Window too.
Today, Tracy shared...
Sara and I Skype each other at 8:00am each morning to open up our window between our classes.
Students go up to read with each other when they can. If I am teaching a lesson, I will put the computer on mute and Sara's students can still be reading. When one of my students are able to read, they will just un-mute the computer...and vice versa. It only took a couple of days and the students were used to having the connection without a disruption to our daily routines.
The LOVE reading to their new Minnesota friends and can't wait to read with more students around the country through their Skype Reading Window too.
Since one of Tracy and Sara's goals are to connect with even more classrooms and libraries, Tracy created this amazing Google Doc to sign up.sign-up here on the Skype Reading Window Google Doc to make connections with other students around the world too.
I can't wait to see where the reading window takes them and what they learn.