The students in my class love to collaborate. Since we started blogging nearly two years ago we have made many connections with other classes in different parts of the world. We’ve written stories together, compared our schools and communities, and have even taken dance lessons over Skype. We have just finished our most recent collaborative project called, Our World, Our Stories.
Our World, Our Stories was a 7 week project that I was fortunate enough to be involved in. The students in my grade 2/3 class had the opportunity to collaborate with students from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Belize, and Ghana.
We learned about life in different parts of the world by sharing with each other about a different topic each week.
Week One: Typical School Day
Week Two: Recess Activities
Week Three: Food
Week Four: Our Local Environment
Week Five: Traditional Stories and Festivities
Week Six: Traditional Song
Week Seven: Group Song and Story
We shared our posts and wrote comments to each other on our group blog. The students commented on similarities, differences, and always had many questions to ask their global buddies.
For our final week the students and teachers recorded a song called, Make New Friends and recorded the audio to go along with a wonderful book written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub called, Whoever You Are. The students really understood the message that no matter how different we are, we are all the same. An extra special surprise was that Mem Fox and Leslie Staub both left wonderful comments on our final post.
This was a very powerful project, not only for the students, but for the teachers involved as well. I feel so lucky to have made connections with these teachers. I learn from each of them, and the other educators in my PLN (Professional Learning Network), every day. My students have seen how we collaborate together, how we plan, how we solve problems, and how we celebrate our successes.
The most amazing thing to me is the fact that, here we are a little school of 50 students, on a small island (that can’t even be seen on many world maps), and my students don’t feel isolated. We had a wonderful discussion on Friday about our “classroom”. We decided that our classroom isn’t defined by its four walls. Our classroom is a global classroom, a place where we learn from and with other children and teachers all over the world.