Saturday, May 18, 2013

Collaboration across age groups

This week I experienced one of those serendipity lessons that worked out really well. I used a lesson I had picked up from friend, Liesel Kruger in East London. It involved the children being given a set of cell addresses and colours in Excel. They have to fill the cell addresses with the stipulated colour and the result is a picture. In this case it was a house.

I was sharing this idea with the teachers in a Global Classroom group in Skype and wondered if it would be feasable to have one class in one location call out the instructions via Skype whilst a class in another country construct the picture. One of the teachers, Joe McNulty of Pennsylvania, USA offered to get his Grade 8s to make up some pictures for my Grade 2's to make. It had to be an asynchronous activity because of the time difference. Joe went ahead and did that and the result was a memorable lesson for our Grade 2's. They just loved the fact that big students across the world had set puzzles for them to solve. They stayed on task and most groups of two were successful in working out the picture with the minimum of teacher intervention. Here is Joe's blog post about the excercise from his perspective. Thank you Joe for a great lesson. My students will never forget how to find the cell address in an Excel spreadsheet. Technology in education is exciting, innovative and game changing. We love it.

Incidentally this lesson has now been shared amongst teachers all over the world. Anyone is free to give it a try.  The link to the Google doc is on Joe's blog.

We had another exciting event this week. Lilitha the Travelling Rhino arrived at Cotswold. Grade 2V are going to sharing why he is important with the rest of the school in the next couple of weeks. The children just love the little rhino and the book of photos and information that goes with him.

We hope that by the time Lilitha leaves us at the end of May we will have all learned about rhinos and the scourge of poaching.

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