Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wednesday's Mystery Skype

A group shot of Mrs. Yager's class and our Mystery Skype class on the SmartBoard
How do the people that blog every day manage to do that?  I can't keep up with my own responsibilities at school, at home and then to find a few extra minutes to reflect on the day.  So even though we had our "Mystery Skype" last Wednesday, I wanted to make sure I wrote about it since it was pretty cool.

Once again, another shout out to Twitter.  Somewhere along the way, I began following and she followed me back, a librarian from a state that-will-not-be-named just yet.  Then a few weeks ago I got a Twitter DM asking if we'd like to mystery Skype.  Sure!  I'm really up for anything and everything.  Her students were researching regions of the country and wanted to chat with a third graders from the Northeast. We can do this and I knew a good class to do it with.

I asked Mrs. Yager if she was game and of course, she was!  I am a big promoter of Capstone and Pebble Go so when Mrs. Underhill (the librarian from that state that-will-not-be-named) said she was using PebbleGoNext, I got right on it and asked for a trial.  Mrs. Yager's third graders came in on Friday, did a little research and took notes on our great state of New York and we were almost ready. Then, with Mrs. Yager they each drew a picture depicting something about our state/region (NY Giants, Empire State Building, Erie Canal, a tree in autumn, pumpkins, dairy farm, etc).  They also had yes/no questions to ask our new friends so we could try and figure out where they lived.

Wednesday afternoon we were ready! So exciting!  There were the kids from our mystery state, projected on our SmartBoard wearing shorts and t-shirts.  Hmmmm....Then we started asking questions.  "Do you have snow?" "No." "Can you swim outside now?" "Yes." Interesting.  "Do your leaves change colors in fall?" "Not really." They asked us questions, too. "Are you near Arizona?" One of our students actually drove to Arizona one summer so he knew the answer to that, "No!" Finally they were ready to guess.  "Are you in New York?" YES!  Bingo! Excellent job!

It took us just a little longer to figure out their state.  But once we did, it was so exciting on our end, too!  It was also neat to find out that they live in their state's capital and we live near ours!  We're capital twins!  We only had a little bit more time left so each student shared their artwork and we took a picture together (not the clearest, but still fun to do).  Mrs. Underhill asked if we'd like to be penpals and of course, we said, "Yes!"  Does that mean we'll be receiving snail mail?  How cool is that?  I received an email from her shortly after the Skype and she said her students wanted to draw pictures of their state and community and send them to us.  We're on the lookout for them!  I have to give Mrs. Yager the credit for starting that.  Great idea!

So once again, Twitter has come through for me.  You have reminded me that the world is flat and small, and that is not a bad thing.  Also, anything is possible.  Thank you, Twitter, for connecting us to our new friends in the South. Until the next collaboration...

In Castleton looking at Tallahassee

Getting excited to see our friends in Florida

The view from Florida looking at us

Another view of us in New York from Florida

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