Skype to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

My students were excited and a little nervous to Skype with their PenPals today!  We were able to run through all three of my classes though and many thanks were necessary for Mrs. Nanke and her students as they helped us to keep things rolling smoothly.

We also have been blessed with a new internet connection at the intermediate school and it has allowed us to stream Skype calls smoothly and without interruption. We found it was much easier to use Skype when out internet could keep up!

We connected with Mrs. Nanke (pronounced like Yankee) on Skype and had students introduce themselves, give a few facts about themselves, state who their PenPal was and concluded each meet and greet with "It was nice to meet you!"

Once all our students had connected, we guessed they were from Iowa and found out they were! They guessed that we were from Nebraska too, and of course we were! Now that we had the state correct, we took turns guessing geographical clues to zero in on their town as we looked at Iowa on Google Maps.   The students did a great job finding our PenPals location using landmarks, lakes and roads/interstates.  They ended up zeroing in on Chadron for us, and it took us a few minutes for us to to find their location of Cedar Rapids.

Our plan now is to have the students write back and forth so we can learn more about each others towns and get to know each other better.

The students had a great time getting to talk to their PenPals and we will continue to meet up over the year with Skype.  I am proud of how my students behaved and were engaged in learning about their PenPals today.

Kenya Safari Acrobats

Our students were treated to the Kenya Safari Acrobats at M Hall this past week.  (Press release here.)  The show was high energy with great music and the students were riveted the entire time we were there.  I took a few videos so they students can watch later, and you can click the playlist below to watch the videos we have.

It was a great experience for the students and we are thankful for Chadron State College allowing us to take part in their program.

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Mystery Skype underway

Our 4th grade students are super excited to "meet"their pen pals this Monday.  We are going to Skype in with Mrs. Nanke (Pronounced like "yankee") and her classes throughout the day on Monday.  Our plan is for the students to meet their pen pal, say something about themselves and ask any additional questions they might have though of.

Our students still don't know where their pen pals are from, so stay tuned to find out along with them.

Hint: They are located in the MidWest and their state touches the Missouri River.

3rd Grade Thanksgiving WallWisher

The students just started learning how to use WallWisher to create bulletin boards for a class where they can post notes and pictures as we discuss a topic and they can gather resources too.  We started out by making a new wall to showcase the things we were thankful for this time of year.


The students did not have to write in complete sentences, but they did need to find an image using Google and and post the URL correctly into the attachment field.  It's pretty neat to think that a few years ago, most people didn't know how to use tabs for browsing the internet, and that after only a few minutes, the students were going back and forth between tabs to search for photos and work on their wall.

We liked WallWisher since it was faster than blogging and they could see all comments and pictures at once, but it's much harder to comment.