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This past September, I embarked on what would become a thrilling, almost addicting, experience with my 3rd graders...MYSTERY SKYPE!
As of March 27th, we have done 10 Skypes including 3 in Canada. If you haven't tried this awesome activity, I highly suggest you do so.
I am sure you have heard of it by now, if you have a Twitter account and a PLC. Mystery Skype (or Classroom, or Location) is when students ask well thought out questions to another class (never met before) to discover where in the world (or your continenet/country) they are. The other class can only answer Yes or No. The other "team" also asks your students questions to find out where you live.
In the first couple weeks of school, I taught the students about hemispheres, continents, countries and states. After our first skype, we took on time zones and provinces. You learn from the other classrooms, and add to your tool box.
We recently started Mystery Number and Monster Match. Monster Match is a lot of fun. It teaches the importance of using description in writing. Students write a paragraph of a monster, and read it to the other class while they draw every step.
Afterwards, the students show the writer the monster they drew from the description. Then they mention points that may have been missed.
It is a very helpful process.
All these Skype experiences bring excitement and inspiration to the daily routines. You just have to take a risk and jump in, even if it feels a little unfamiliar, and messy. No great rewards are without risk.
Teacher (Manuela) Ippolito