I love finding examples of teachers “who get it”. The teachers who, when you learn that your child is going to be in their class next year, cause you to breathe an audible sigh of relief – because you know the year will be filled with breathless stories of new projects, great adventures, and “Oh! and then we did this!!” brain cell explosions. Having a great teacher is life-changing. Being a great teacher is awe-inspiring.
So when I ran across Shannon Miller’s blog this weekend I wanted to share it with the Edmodo community (hope that’s okay Ms. Miller!). She writes about connecting her class at Van Meter Elementary in Des Moines, Iowa with John Schu’s class at Brook Forest Elementary in Oak Brook, IL to start an inter-classroom book group. The idea is simple enough — connect the classrooms so students can share ideas about what they are learning and learn a little bit about the world outside their classroom. Even across two states you can see that the students have already taken their ideas to a higher order of thinking –and seem to be having a blast doing it.
I love this idea — and I especially love the video she made to go with it:)
Imagine the educational potential of this idea if we connect classrooms around the world? What would a conversation be like between a classroom in Iowa and Australia? Imagine how much students could learn from each other by making connections across geographic, socio-economic and cultural boundaries? Trying to teach your students about the impact of Katrina? Why not connect directly with students in New Orleans who lived through it? Connecting your students to the world is a powerful way to encourage them to think beyond their own societal and cultural norms and consider the world from another perspective.
Check out Ms. Miller’s blog for tips on how to get started creating classroom connections — and then pop into one of the Subject Area Communities and let other members know you are looking for a Buddy Classroom.
Thanks Ms. Miller and Mr. Schu for going the extra mile to inspire your students — you’ve inspired us too!