The fun continues in our classroom!
My student teacher and another student teacher in a neighboring district coordinated a pen pal letter exchange for our students. They have exchanged about 4 rounds of letters and photos. This has been a great writing project for my kids and really gave them a clear idea of writing for a purpose and audience.
My student teacher's last day with us is this coming Thursday (sniff sniff) and as a grand finale to the pen pal exchange, we are going to Skype with the other class!
The initial challenge was to get the right equipment for this task. We got the camera from Mrs. Muir (previously referred to as tech goddess) but it would not work when plugged into the smart board. A very long cord was purchased (needed to have a booster so that it would not add lag to the picture and sound---that was new learning for me) and run from the back computer to the smartboard and we were ready to broadcast!
Knowing that first graders (well....most people) tend to ham it up when they see themselves on any kind of technology, I set up a Skype lesson for them. I went to Mrs. Muir's office and called the kids. They were VERY excited.
One of the first things we did was to all wave to me on the camera. I told them that they could only talk one at a time and we reviewed the hardware. I told them where the camera was and we talked about being safe around the cords. Megan (student teacher) and I moved our class carpet so that the students were in the frame.
We talked about making sure that they looked at the camera instead of the screen. That is REALLY hard and several of my little techies kept reminding ME to look at the camera too!
We worked on practicing our introductions to our pen pals by standing, looking at the camera and using our best first-grade voices.