Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Katie Alvarez: Increasing Global Awareness through Mystery Skypes/Hangouts

My best day from the class from this past year was watching my 4th graders participate in Mystery Skypes/Hangouts.  My goal was to promote global awareness.  The concept of Mystery Hangouts and Mystery Skypes has been around for a few years, so I am a bit sad that I am just jumping into the trend this year.  The good news is: I did take the plunge and it has been a great swim.  I can't wait to do plan more for next year.  The greater thing, my kids loved loved loved it.  Before I go any further on why this was my best day and what my students learned I will briefly explain how Mystery Skypes/Hangouts work...

What is Mystery Skype/Mystery Hangouts?
Mystery Skype is an education game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype.The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions.  The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions." (Mr. Kemp, check out this blog post at the link below for more information if you are interested in this activity).

Why this was my best day and How I saw my student grow...
1.   Global awareness increased.  They loved the end times where they could ask the other class questions about what's it is like to live in their location.
2.    They learned how to read an atlas and became aware of famous landmarks that may not have learned about in my current curricula.
3.      Deduction and questioning skills increased in positive ways.  Students wanted to make sure that they asked the best questions that helped them narrow down the mystery location most.  
4.      Engagement was high and students were excited about learning.   Gamification at its finest
5.      Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary was being used in running speech and writing.   That's a biggie!
6.      By answering the questions of the other class they became aware of their own state, county and town.  I was surprised by what they did not know regarding where they lived.

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