FACE TIME

This is a QUICK POST…just something that was so noteworthy!

On Friday, one of my students was traveling to Connecticut.  She told me that she was not going to be here in class and asked if we would Skype her in to class because she said she would be at the hotel with her parents during our Spanish time.  I, of course, said SURE that we would Skype her in and sit her at her table where she usually sits.  So on Friday I was using a great website that Lauren Rosen introduced me to called Poll Everywhere.  It allows you to take a poll and text in your results and you can watch it real time on the Smart Board as the answers come in.

I use it with my 8th graders because I really need to change things up and do different things to keep them interested after listening to me teach them Spanish for NINE years and (they truly do not really enjoy much of anything in class because they are so ready to get outta this school where they have almost all been for NINE years) usually using their mobile phones in class MIGHT keep them a bit interested.  So they were texting in their answers to a book activity we had done and it seemed to keep them interested….meanwhile one of my students was receiving text updates from the student who wanted to be Skyped in from Connecticut.  She was not able to get her lap top working or something or Skype not working so she asked if they could use FACE TIME on their iPhone 4 (yes, both of my 8th grade students happen to have iPhone 4s).  So they go on FACE TIME and she was able to be in class with her parents in the background attempting to speak Spanish.  Her parents were so funny speaking Spanish and coming in and out of the video…it was so great!  My students are so wonderful that they made this happen!  I had nothing to do with it!  I wish I had video of it to share.  I have a 3GS and have been wondering if I need to spend the money to get a 4…..I am now convinced that YES.  I want one!

Skype call to Mexico

My 6th graders had their first Skype call to Mexico.  We spoke with a school in Mexico City called Jules Verne School.  It seems like such an interesting school.  They are learning English of course and we are learning Spanish.  It is grade preschool-7th grade I believe so that match couldn’t have been any more perfect!  My school is K-8.  I cannot wait to speak with them again with different age groups!

My 6th graders have spoken to an English teacher Greta Sandler in Argentina earlier this school year and they have been so excited to talk to other students!  We finally got to do this last Tuesday.  It was fun to watch the Mexican 6th grade students!  They were so excited and all huddled in front of the screen.  Some of my students were actually freaked out and being SHY.  I could not believe it.  I had to really coax them into introducing themselves.

I made this connection on Twitter and am so grateful for Mayus Chavez.  She is the principal at Jules Verne School and so open-minded and willing to really give this Skype thing a TRY!  Because that is what all of this 21st Century learning tools are….a TRY.  You have to give it all a try and try again until you find what works.  The call did not go perfectly of course, but what ever does?  🙂  It was such a great experience and this is going to be such a wonderful experience for our students!  Enjoy the video!