Virtual Learning Takes Elementary Students World Wide
Central Elementary students have been doing some long distance learning this year with the help of the internet, video conferencing equipment, Mr. Risch's knowledge of technology and of course the teachers. Video conferencing has allowed elementary classrooms to collaborate with other classes, authors and even the chance to visit the North Pole! Mr. Risch, the elementary technology teacher, is in charge of informing teachers of upcoming webcasts, setting up the video conferences and making sure things run smoothly.
Elementary students are quickly becoming more knowledgeable regarding technology than many adults so teachers are taking advantage and going virtual with their teaching! First grade students visited the North Pole before Christmas and listened as Mrs. Claus read them a story. Third graders participated in The Story Mashup webcast with Jeff Kinney and Dave Pilkney, popular authors of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series and The Captain Underpants Series, in which they created a fictional story together. Third grade students also had the chance to expand upon what they learned about the various body systems in health class by participating in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science's webcast called The Virtual Heart.
Kindergarten classrooms have been very busy learning and sharing through various video conferences. First, they created and shared pumpkins after reading Spookly, the Square Pumpkin and then they shared turkeys that were created at home in hopes that Tom Turkey didn't get eaten this year after reading The Naked Turkey. Kindergarten students got the chance to visit and tour the White House without even having to leave their classroom in December. In January, some of the kindergarten classrooms read and participated in a video conference based on the popular Jan Brett book called The Mitten. Students created their own mitten and had to disguise an animal and then give hints about what animal was in their mitten.
Finally, a very popular video conference that takes place world wide and one that some of our elementary classrooms participate in is called Read Around the Planet which pairs classrooms from around the world together and they choose a literacy activity that they will complete together.