I had a conversation with a 5th grade student this week who couldn't quit talking about something that happened in her room that day. I heard things like..."We talked to students from Alaska." "Their school has a volcano behind it." "Do you know how far Alaska is from us?" And then a few days later, I heard, "That Alaskan community was started by Russian immigrants." What is going on that is generating that much excitement? Mrs. Griffin's 5th grade classroom is extending learning beyond their walls by participating in Mystery Skypes. The following information was written by Mrs. Eva Griffin to explain just what a Mystery Skype is.
A Mystery Skype is a game created by teachers where two classrooms connect on Skype via the internet from anywhere in the world and try to guess each other's location by asking strategic yes or no questions. Students use maps, atlases, Google Earth, etc to try to locate the other class before they are discovered. This is a student led activity where they must work together to be successful. Students have roles (or jobs) for each Mystery Skype. This activity builds critical thinking and cooperative learning skills, public speaking skills as well as geography skills. It is engaging and fun. We learn things about other schools. We also learn things about the other school's weather, land features, different time zones and about their school day and class size. Once we guess a location, we then Google their town and school to learn more about them. Our goal is to visit all 50 states this year! We are creating documents in our Drive with the information we learn from our Skypes and googling the schools we visit. Then we are going to create a ThingLink map of the places we have Skyped! We have also shared book talks with other classes. We have visited these 23 states this year.
If you want to learn more about this and other things going on in Mrs. Griffin's classroom, she is offering technology professional development this summer. Click on the links below for a complete list all technology sessions that will be offered in our district this summer. Registration opens tomorrow, April 15!
Technology Sessions - Kristy Graham/Dana Lane
Technology Sessions - Eva Griffin
Dana Lane is a Technology Coordinator, and Kristy Graham is an Instructional Technology Specialist - both at Rivercrest School District. They are passionate about technology and learning and enjoy sharing this passion with teachers and students.