Tag Archives: MACUL11

21st Century Communication with TWICE

Cross-posted with the MACUL conference blog.

Here are the resources and links featured in my session at MACUL, 21st Century Communication with TWICE.

We connected to Eagle Lake Elementary in Edwardsburg, for a feature of Where in Michigan; the ASK programs, and Read Around the Planet.

Next we connected to Mars Elementary, in Berrien Springs, for a feature of the Holiday Hoopla Snowman Swap.

Finally, we reviewed the TWICE Discounts with Content Providers / Field Trips, and the CAPspace website.

Read Around the Planet with Wales and Allendale

Cross-posted with the MACUL conference blog.

Karen Mosier is hosting the first session in the TWICE room this morning (W2-66!). The session is on Read Around the Planet, TWICE‘s signature global reading celebration.

A class from Allendale Michigan, is connecting with the Nant Celyn school, in Torfaen, Wales to show how a Read Around the Planet connection happens.

St. David's Day Parade Cardiff from Wikipedia

Both classes shared introductions about their communities.

Then the class in Wales described how they celebrate St. David’s Day. One of the students recited her winning poem from the poetry competition; and other students shared their poems as well. In one transition, we heard from the teacher:

Bear with us, we just had a bit of stage fright.

Of course educators and students can be encouraging for each other, even over videoconference!

The class in Wales sang their national anthem for us also!

The Allendale class shared math problems inspired by the book Math Curse.

They had prepared VoiceThread math problems; however, they discovered that the audio wasn’t clear enough, students talked too fast and too soft for the Wales students to understand. So they read the stories live instead.

During the connection they decided to email the math problems so the students in Wales could solve them. This is common during a Read Around the Planet connection – that the teachers end up negotiating further future collaborations based on their first connection.

Read Around the Planet celebrated the 10th anniversary this year. Hope YOU participate next year!

(And if you’re at MACUL and participated in Read Around the Planet, go to the Presenters’ booth and ask for the RAP star Read Around the Planet ribbon!)

Monster Mayhem and VC Tips with Whirlidurb

Cross-posted with the MACUL conference blog.

The last session in the TWICE room today at the MACUL 11 Conference was with Roxanne Glaser of Whirlidurb, sharing how to participate in Monster Mayhem along with excellent tips for quality videoconferences.

As usual, Roxanne modeled excellent presentation and teaching strategies! While we experienced a Monster Mayhem collaboration from start to finish, we also learned five important tips:

  1. Make a sign to show your location.
  2. Use a document camera.
  3. Fake it! if you don’t have a document camera.
  4. Arrange your students’ seating.
  5. Create a space for the students to speak.

We saw examples, then we reviewed from the handout, and then we divided into teams to do all 5 during the VC! I’m sure everyone remembers now!

Roxanne explaining the 5th tip: setting up a place for the speakers to talk – zoomed in & location sign.

Another example of student speakers location.

Roxanne puts us to work!

Roxanne’s version of Monster Mayhem (the original VC version) is where each class makes a monster – usually 3D – and then works in groups to create the other class’ monster. During the videoconference, students look for similarities and differences and analyze the descriptions to see where the writing or following directions could have been improved.

If you want to learn more about similar videoconference opportunities, sign up for Whirlidurb’s mailing list!

Stories from the Classroom: Our First Year of Videoconferencing

Cross-posted with the MACUL conference blog.

It’s Thursday afternoon and Danielle Letter is hosting a session in the TWICE room called Stories from the Classroom: Our First Year of Videoconferencing. We are videoconferencing with a class in Bridgeport-Spaulding and they are sharing about all the videoconferences they’ve done this year.

Guess Who

First the students explained about a project they participated in – the class connected to a class in Canada. Each student had written descriptions of themselves and they had to figure out who was who from the descriptions. Danielle had posted this in CAPspace to get a partner. Here’s a snippet of the collaboration and you can read the whole thing here.

Students will begin preparation for their connection by drawing their face using principles of Art. After the drawing is done, students will write a short descriptive piece about their art detailing their characteristics.

On the day of the connection students will gather in groups and each teacher will show one drawing. After reading the description, students from the connecting site will guess which student created the drawing and writing. Finally classes will have time to get to know each other through questions and answers.

Native American Beads

Next the students shared about how they learned about Native American Beadwork talking to an expert at the Hartley Outdoor Learning Center. They learned all about Native Americans and created their own bead necklaces.

Monster Match

Next some students described about their Monster Match project. They connected to a class in Pennsylvania. Each student drew a colorful monster and described it. During the session two or three students from each class describe their monster while everyone tries to draw it. You can read the full description of the collaboration in CAPspace here.

Experiencing It!

After the students described their videoconferences, we got to experience them with the students.

For Guess Who, we saw a self-portrait that student had drawn, and then listened to the characteristics. Then we picked the student from a group of 5 students. After that the group of students introduced themselves. We did this several times. Here’s what it looked like. Students were lined up and we were guessing which student:

Then the students shared why they liked distance learning:

  • We get to see people on camera from other places.
  • We get to see different objects (from the Native Americans session).
  • We learn lots of new stuff.
  • 100% more fun than a paper!
  • We get to learn about other states and countries.

After this, we tried out the Monster Match. One of the students gave us directions and we followed as shown:

After this, the audience asked the students & teacher questions. Great interaction and the audience was enthralled and engaged during the whole session. One of the 1st grade teachers in the audience said this was the best session I’ve been to because I got to color! Great work, Danielle Letter, TWICE President!

Around the World in 80 Clicks BYOL Resources

Welcome to my MACUL BYOL participants! The session is called Around the World in 80 Clicks (with thanks to Silvia Tolisano).

Here is the link to many Skype resources.

Handouts were:

Collaborative VCs Wiki with lesson ideas

Assignment: Please use the comment feature below to document your plans for using Skype in your classroom.

  • What ideas do you have?
  • Where do you want to connect?
  • What do you want to learn from/with another class?

Designing Quality Projects MACUL Hands-On Session

Here are links to resources and projects mentioned in my Designing Quality Videoconference Projects hands-on session at MACUL 2011.

Featured Projects

Collaboration Examples

TWICE Resources

Other Collaboration Tools

Good luck with your future videoconference collaborations and projects!


Arnie Comer, TWICE ASK Coordinator, is kicking off the first session in the TWICE room (W2-66) at MACUL 2011: TWICE ASK Programs.

What is an ASK program?

The basic steps to an ASK program are:

  • Read the book
  • Journal
  • Write good questions
  • Pick the best questions
  • Interview an author or specialist

Arnie’s session features Michigan author Janie Panagopoulos, who offers both ASK programs and writing programs:

Janie is interacting live with students at Eagle Lake Elementary, in Edwardsburg, MI, who participated in the TWICE ASK program Traders in Time in December, as well as the Polycom Special Event Writing Rules in January.

And that’s all I can write, because I’m off to teach a hands-on workshop! Sign up for a TWICE ASK session soon!