Friday, November 10, 2006

Descriptive writing put to the test via videoconference!

Two second grade classes:
Somers Elementary and McKinley Elementary

Two innovative teachers:
Judy Schantek (Somers) and Kerri Boyle (McKinley) that have never used videoconferncing in their classrooms before

One great idea:
Pair up penpals between schools, exchange letters describing themselves and form student "lineups" at one school while a
student at the other school guesses their penpal based on their description. Students at Somers were placed in front of
the camera in groups of four while the student at McKinley determined who their penpal was based on the letter they
received. Is it a boy? Do they have red hair? Is he short or tall?

Writing Sample:
"Dear Charlie, I have brown eyes and brown hair. I am a boy. I am missing one tooth and I lost the tooth like 2 years ago and the tooth has not come in yet. I do not have glasses and I have a round face. I do not have freckles."

What an amazing experience! I literally had goose bumps watching these students use deductive reasoning while using technology seamlessly. These teachers took a traditional, relatively simple concept and adapted it to align with 21st century learning needs. Best practice in action!

Interested in trying it with your students? Email Joan Roehre and I'll match you up!

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