Mystery Skype

On Friday we had our first Mystery Skype video call. Mystery Skype is a connection with another class where the goal is for students to ask questions to determine another school’s location, while answering questions about their own location. For our first call, students started with the knowledge that the location was somewhere in Canada and that questions would be limited to those that have yes or no answers. I have to admit I was a bit nervous and wasn’t sure I had prepared students adequately, but there was only one way to find out. Our map of Canada was on the wall, students had laptops and iPads at the ready, primary atlases were open, cardinal directions had been reviewed as well as the names of the territories and provinces. It was time to jump in and give it try. Overall the call went smoothly and the grade 2’s and 3’s were successful in discovering that Ecole Dieppe is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. During the call a few students had the role of recording questions. We will go back and reflect on these next week, as well as discuss what we learned, what went well and how we can do better next time. Ask your child to share his/her thoughts about our first Mystery Skype.

Genius Hour Update

It was a wonderful opportunity to observe students on Thursday as they chose partners and ideas for Genius Hour. Students shared and compared their diamond ranked ideas and found others with similar interests. I loved being able to answer “yes” to all the questions asked of me such as, “Can we work with whomever we want? Can I choose an idea even if isn’t on my diamond? Can we pick anything we want?”. Eyes were wide and there was a great buzz of activity in the room. The biggest constraint students have is ┬átime, as we approach the final two weeks of the school year. I love that instead of winding down this year we are using the end of June to wind things up. A few pictures below show students completing planning sheets outlining what they are going to learn and how they will make it happen. They also thought about materials and equipment that would be needed. What a great time to have a few iPads in the class for students to gather information and document their learning! Some examples of the Genuis Hour projects are building a castle, creating a video game and learning why Saturn has rings. What would you choose to learn about for Genius Hour?
Click on a photo for a larger image.