Our Mystery Skype this time around happened to be with a school in our own state. Now, those of you that Mystery Skype know that there is a lot of excitement placed on the fact that you choose a school OUTSIDE of your state.
Choosing a city in the state we lived was part of our 4th grade curriculum because it caused students to have to look at our own state, find important cities, key highways, and other landmarks to guess the other location.
We kept the state a secret from both classes, so they were surprised to learn they were in the same state. Then we used highways, counties, and regions to locate each others' cities.
Students did a great job synergizing to find the locations. What a great job!
I am taking a new approach to my blog, as to not feel so pressured to make posts. I think it is time that I really make this blog about what I am seeing here at my school since so many teachers are embracing technology. The posts are going to be more authentic and about #edtech versus all the tips and sites. So here it goes...
This week we completed 2 Mystery Skype sessions. What is Mystery Skype? Check out the presentation I made for teachers! Or go to the BLOG POST I made on it last year!
Mrs. Woods' class connected with Meredith, New Hampshire and Mr. Reichard's class connected with Ottawa, Ontario. So much fun!
Mrs. Woods' class did a great job of narrowing their state down to New Hampshire by asking some great questions. Mr. Reichard's class was able to learn their school was in the province of Ontario by learning whether it was surrounded by water or not. Then they worked to narrow their city to Ottawa. We then took the opportunity in both classes to use Google Maps to explore the area we Skyped with each day. Such a great opportunity!
Connecting with classrooms around the country? Who would have thought this was possible even five years ago? Well, it is, and we have a 5th grade class that made it reality for this Technology Integration Specialist.
What is Mystery Skype?
I had heard about Mystery Skype on various blogs and from some teachers in a neighboring city. It is a way to play 20 questions with another school that isn't in your area. You can go to the Mystery Skype page and search for teachers that are interested in Skyping with your class. The teachers connect and find a common day and time (keeping time zones in mind!). Then you call each other via Skype and ask yes/no questions about each schools' location.
I connected with a teacher in another state for Mrs. Thompson's fifth grade class. The teachers know where each other is from, but the students do not. Through a series of questions, we narrowed down the states we were from. They figured out we were in Missouri and we figured out they were in Vermont. We then tried to track down each others' city...we got theirs and they got close to ours! Within 30 minutes, we had connected with another school, used research skills, inference skills, collaboration, geography, and communication to work together to find this school.
The process was very well-done. We had done a mock-Skype session within our building to ensure they all knew their jobs. We had a group on Google Maps trying to find their location, another group with atlases trying to figure out what questions to ask next, another group with a Missouri map in front of them, answering questions, students talking to Vermont telling them answers or asking questions, students recording the questions being asked and those asked of us, students photographing the experience, and probably more! It seemed chaotic, but they were doing SUCH an excellent job working together.
This was one of the most fun things I have been a part of this year! We even have a class set up to do a Mystery Hangout (same as Skype, but with Google Hangouts) with another COUNTRY and another class doing a different state...but it's a mystery...so I can't tell! Check out my Twitter account as I live tweet the country hangout on April 8th!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom