The fifth graders at Kalona Elementary are working on their Iowa History unit. Part of their unit involves making connections with other schools in Iowa.The tools we are using to connect are Skype and Google Hangout, which is a tool similar to Skype.
One classroom in particular went beyond our school to celebrate WRAD. Mrs. Bell's class at Kalona Elementary was interested in making a connection with another class to celebrate WRAD using Skype. We were able to connect with a Grade 2 class at Banff Elementary in Alberta, Canada! Mrs. Feist, the grade 2 teacher at Banff Elementary, and her class were excited to meet Mrs. Bell's class. Mrs. Bell's class was equally excited for the opportunity.
Chelsea Sims, a teacher-librarian who helped with the Genius Hour pilot program, said students must contact professionals in the community and face potential failures while developing their projects, experiences that promote problem-solving. She said the activity also encourages shy students to work in groups and helps students realize they can contribute to the community. "I'd really like for kids to see that they can make a difference," Sims said.