After discovering the #Dot Day on Twitter, students from Mrs. Murch’s 4th grade class decided to join the creating, celebrating and, most importantly, the connecting during this day! Students were challenged to think outside the box and create their own unique dots, math games that incorporated concepts using dots, writing activities and goals all around message of the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds. Students and teachers were challenged to think of ways they were “going the make their mark” on the world; they had time to self-reflect and set goals for this school year and for the future.
Dot Day also provided Mrs. Murch’s class with the opportunity to work toward another class goal for the year: 50 states in 180 days via Skype in the Classroom. 50 States in 180 Days challenges students to connect with all 50 states this school year through #Mystery Skype. @TeamMurch was able to add two more United States schools because of Dot Day! They also participated in their first international Skype with a school in Canada! Students read and discussed their perspective of The Dot with 2nd graders in New York, and they shared and explained their “dots” creations with 5th & 6th graders in Canada–they even learned a bit of French during the call! Finally, they shared their writing and ways of making their mark with students in TN. Dot Day was an amazing HSE_21 day for all learners!
-Submitted by Amy Murch, Brooks School Elementary, 4th Grade
Imagine taking your class to another state or country on a field trip or having your favorite children’s author participate in a read-aloud or writing lesson. Teachers at Thorpe Creek Elementary are doing just that… and so much more without even leaving the classroom.
Many classrooms at TCE have been participating in something called a Mystery Skype. During a Mystery Skype one class connects with another class around the district, state, country, or even the world. At Thorpe Creek you may find a third or fourth grade class participating in a Mystery State Skype, which allows students to use critical thinking skills to guess another class’s state or country. You may find first or second grade students participating in a Mystery Number Skype, where they are using problem solving skills to guess a number. Kindergarten students have even gotten involved by connecting with others to learn about letters through a Mystery Letter Skype.
Many Thorpe Creek Elementary teachers connect with others in a global community at education.skype.com or @SkypeClassroom on Twitter. From visits to national forests and aquariums, to connecting with other classes around the world, teachers have found that not only are students engaged and excited about these global opportunities, but they are learning so much more than we can teach from a picture in a book or a problem on a white board.
Submitted by Tina Johnston, Teacher Development Specialist, Thorpe Creek Elementary