Sunday, January 4, 2009

Connecting Classrooms, Part 2

(This is cross-posted on our shared blog.)
On December 18th, Kate's 2nd grade class and my 4th grade class connected via WizIq for a second online math lesson. We would have liked to connect sooner, but conflicting schedules, pesky assessments, and various holidays thwarted us. Still, Kate and I prepared using the same website, and we were able to successfully implement all the parts of the lesson we wanted to try. So, how did it go?
The lesson went... fairly well. There were some lingering technological issues, but I feel both classes were able gain some educational results from this math lesson. My class prepared for this lesson by first adopting the mindset that the 4th graders would be teaching the second graders, and we had a discussion where we tried to spell out the steps of learning. I gave them the goal the 2nd graders wanted to achieve, and then guided my students towards what they would have to scaffold for the younger students. We hoped the 2nd graders would be able to identify the values of coins, name the coins, and then select multiple coins to "purchase" various items. My students helped me create multiple pages, and for the final page we found images online of popular toys (they were particularly excited about the trampoline) and created prices for them.
We started the lesson, and the 2nd grade class joined us. The pages we created on WizIq were shared seamlessly, and both classes were able to simultaneously interact with the online tools. The biggest problems was that the video wouldn't work (despite working just fine in practice) and that the sound was behaving oddly. The amplified speakers in my class, and maybe in Kate's too, were giving all sorts of weird feedback, pretty much making oral discussion useless. Nonetheless, we watched as Kate's class worked through the pages and added up the coins they needed. I think for our next connection I would like move towards giving all my 4th grade students an opportunity to blog or discuss a science or language topic online.

1 comment:

Book Blog Idea said...

Wesley,
I am a 4th grade teacher in Hanover, PA (snack food capital of the world). I am starting a book blog project using The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Check out the blog http://hugocabretbookblog.blogspot.com/

Let me know if you might be interested in participating and feel free to spread to other 4th and 5th grade teachers.