Sunday, October 23, 2011

Virtual Career Skype Tour: Our Talk with Dr. Lora Wilson

As part of our Virtual Career Skype Tour, my fourth graders had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Lora Wilson. Lora is a scientist and post doctoral fellow who works and leads a lab in The University of Colorado's Health Sciences Center. She conducts research related to treating and curing pulmonary cancer.

After briefly introducing herself, Lora showed us around the lab where she spends most of her days. She described a typical day at her job and showed us other parts of the lab. We even had the chance to meet other scientists who answered some questions we had.

Have a look at a clip from her tour.

After the tour, my fourth graders interviewed Lora to learn more about her work and how she came into the field of science. Here are some clips of the interview.

We thank Lora for taking the time to talk to us about her career. She is a great role model for girls who are interested in science and we respect her dedication and work in finding a cure for cancer. I know that this call has influenced my girls and has made them think differently about science.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Connecting with the Global Read Aloud

This was our first year participating in the Global Read Aloud. I decided to have my 5th grade students take part in this project because I felt that it would complement our novel studies unit and saw it as an excellent opportunity to connect with other classes around the globe who were also reading the same novel. When I first introduced the concept of the Global Read Aloud, I don’t think my students quite grasped what it involved. It was not until I showed them the Participant Map on the Global Read Aloud Wiki that they realized how large this project was! At this point, they were excited to connect with other classes and this is how we did it:

Edmodo- Throughout the Global Read Aloud we used this secure networking site to post the journal prompt in our Tuck Everlasting Group.Our journals revolved around themes for each section in the book and had students relate and make personal connections with the novel. Our partner classes in Delaware and South Korea were also part of this group and posed questions and polls that our students responded to. It was nice to see students and teachers responding to each other. Edmodo has allowed us to share and reflect in ways we have never imagined.

Skype- This project has also granted us the privilege of meeting our Delaware friends through Skype! Thanks to Lisa Mims in Delaware, we were able to arrange a call and participate in Literature Circles virtually. Students from both classes were responsible for sharing their assigned jobs and discussing the novel. Lisa and I were impressed by the how much thought and effort our students put into their Literature Circle jobs and discussion.

Here is a clip of our call. Watch as our Delaware friends guess an illustration for a scene in the book.

Overall, I am very pleased with the whole experience and for what it has done for my students. Reading alongside other classes made learning much more authentic for my students. The technology tools also engaged my students throughout the unit. I plan to continue using these tools and hope to connect my other classes for Skype Book Clubs later on in the year. To read more about these, click here. I welcome you to join us!