MysteryQuest – The Format: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

MysteryQuest

A “MysteryQuest” is a specific videoconference collaborative project made popular by Janine Lim at Berrien RESA between 2002 and 2011. Please visit the History section to learn more about how this developed.

In a MysteryQuest videoconference, 2 – 6 classes connect together to share clues about geography, history, or other content; and then research to find out what the other classes presented. Here are some of the different agendas used in MysteryQuests:

Original 2.5 Hour Agenda
(used by LearningSpace and the first middle school world geography sessions by Berrien RESA)

  • 10 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated)
  • 50 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites. Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.
  • 20 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated.
    Classroom 1 answers all questions.
    Classroom 2 answers all questions.
    Classroom 3 answers all questions.
    Classroom 4 answers all questions.
    Classroom 5 answers all questions.
    Classroom 6 answers all questions.
  • 10 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 10 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 10 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.

2 Hour Agenda for 4th-5th Grade US Geography

  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated) (NO SCHOOL INTRODUCTIONS as some people are presenting their actual location).
  • 55 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (Classroom 1 answers all questions. Classroom 2 answers all questions, etc. )
  • 10 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.

1 Hour Agenda for Middle School World Geography with 4 classes max

  • 1 min Intro & Directions (no more school intros; you can add two sentences max to your presentation if you keep the total to 7 minutes or less)
  • 4 groups x 7 min presentations = 30 min. for group presentations
  • 15 minutes for research (can use computers from the start)
  • We’re SKIPPING the Q&A and re-evaluate to increase the pressure, make it harder, and make it shorter.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Note: World geography has more required clues than the HistoryQuests

45 min. HistoryQuest8 with 4 classes max

  • 1 min: Intro & Directions
  • 20 min: 4 classes do 5 min presentations or (25 min for 5 classes)
  • 15 min: Research and solve (students can use computers from the start)
  • 3-5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 3-5 min. Correct history mysteries revealed by each classroom.
  • no Q&A to make it harder!

1.5 hour Agenda for 5th grade HistoryQuest with 4-6 classes

  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated)
  • 30 min. Classroom Presentations (5 min. each for 5-6 presentations)
  • 20 min. The Quest (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery clues presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (i.e. Classroom 1 answers all questions; classroom 2 answers all questions; etc.)
  • 5 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery answers revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations, goodbye cheers, and sign-off.

Point to Point MysteryQuest

  • 5 min. Welcome and introductions. Each class shares their location and brief information about their school.
    Visuals: Use document camera or PowerPoint to share a few local pictures of interest.
  • 15 min. Clues presentation. Each class shares a 5-7 minute presentation of clues.
    Visuals: Skit, iMovie illustration, or PowerPoint with digital pictures, posters with large letters.
  • 20-30 min. Silence on the videoconference. Each class works busily solve the mystery or guess the event, person, location.
  • 20 min. Answers and discussion. Each class presents their solution and discusses the answer with the other class. Students can ask each other questions regarding the problem solving process and content. If extra time, students may enjoy asking each other questions about their respective locations and schools.

Facilitating Your Own MysteryQuest

If you would like to facilitate your own MysteryQuest project, please feel free to do so. This document provides some tips on doing so.

Using the Website
You are welcome to use this page to support your own MysteryQuest project. If you feel you need your own website, please give credit to the original project created by Janine Lim and Kelly Gaideski, Berrien RESA. Please link to this page.

Communication with Participating Classrooms
I send a confirmation letter to the teachers participating to confirm their date and CC the tech coordinators. Also, I keep track of the countries being presented so that there are no duplicates. In addition, I email the Curriculum and Planning Packet to the teachers so they can effectively prepare for the project. Don’t forget to edit the contact information in the file! Please leave the credit information in the footer. Reminders & count down information should be emailed to teachers as well. Test calls need to be scheduled with the tech coordinators at each site. In addition, you’ll be answering various questions from teachers as they prepare for the event.

Keeping Track
I create a Word table with the crucial event information: School Name & Letter (A-F), Teacher Name, Teacher Phone, Dial Information/Number, Country they are presenting, Tech Name, Tech Phone, Phone Number in Room, Test Date. As test calls are finished and details completed, I shade the cell so I know it is done.

Facilitating the Event
These notes follow the agenda. For ease of reading, the 9:00 start time will be used. Of course, adapt this to the time frame you are using for your event. And feel free to tweak with these instructions. There isn’t just one right way to do this!
I create a little chart for myself such as the one below to keep track of who I’m calling on when (it can get confusing if you lose track, and then everyone’s confused! :>) I include the school name with the number, as well as the country. I also print the agenda to write notes as well as notes on which schools are each number.
I also jot down Y or N for yes or no on what the answer was. This also helps me gauge how much time the classes need for reconsidering the answers.

1 2 3 4 5 6
1 x
2 Y x
3 Y x
4 N x
5 Y x
6 N x

T-30 min. Have the connection up for everyone to dial in. Hopefully all your sites will have dialed in by 15 min. before the connection. Keep a list of the six sites in front of you. Use the same order for referring to everyone (1-6). Call on each site as they get connected and check audio and video. Make sure everyone can hear and see everyone else.

9:00: Introductions and Videoconference Directions (Janine Lim will moderate)

  • Introduce yourself and welcome everyone to the project. List the places connected. Give a quick overview again of the schedule.
  • Remind everyone to mute when it’s not their turn to talk.
  • Encourage students to speak up, speak slowly, loudly, and clearly.
  • Remind everyone to get out their note taking forms.
  • Encourage students to listen carefully to the presentations.
  • Tell them to relax and enjoy the connection! This is about fun and learning, not about competing with each other!
  • Call on each site in order to do a quick introduction of their school and where they are located.

9:10-10:00: Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)

  • Announce each site before they present. (Now we’ll turn it over to Classroom 1 for their presentation. …. Thank you classroom 1. Classroom 2?) Be sure to refer to the classrooms by number, as this is how the teachers are keeping track of which group is taking notes.
  • If you have the ability, force the video to the presenting class each time so that any extraneous noise doesn’t switch the video so visual clues are missed.
  • If a presentation is hard to understand or hear, stop them and get the problem fixed. It’s no use letting them continue when no one can understand or take notes on their presentation. Don’t be afraid to interrupt! The clues are soooo important!!
  • After a class does their presentation, ask the other classrooms in order (1-6) if they need any repeats of the clues. Encourage teachers to find out if the rest of the class has the information already before asking for something to be repeated. Ask schools not to ask for a repeat unless none of the students have the information. Don’t take more than 3-4 repeats per school, otherwise you’ll run out of time later.
  • After doing repeats, then ask Classroom 2 if they are ready or need a little time to set up. Don’t rush a school if they are setting up. Indicate that it is fine and we’ll wait till you’re ready.

10:00-10:40: The Quest: Locating Sites

Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms.
During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.

  • After each presentation, schools have 40 minutes to research. You may be tempted to shorten this time, but they really do need the full time.
  • I use BigClock on my Palm and set it to count down 40 minutes. I zoom the document camera in close on the clock. Kids love to see that clock and know how much time they have left.
  • Remind schools to have their questions ready when they come back. Remind them of the rules – that the question is a yes/no answer, it shouldn’t ask the name of the country (don’t give it away for the other schools), and that they only get one question per classroom. Ask teachers to have students up at the mic ready to ask the questions, as that section will move quickly.
  • You could allow schools to disconnect during this time if you want (personally I prefer that they don’t).

10:40-11:00 Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated.

Classroom 1 answers all questions.
Classroom 2 answers all questions.
Classroom 3 answers all questions.
Classroom 4 answers all questions.
Classroom 5 answers all questions.
Classroom 6 answers all questions.

  • This section should be tightly moderated. If possible force the video to the classroom answering the questions.
  • Remind schools again of the rules. They shouldn’t ask “is your country the USA?” One question per classroom, and it should be a yes/no question.
  • Encourage teachers to have students up at the mic ready to ask and answer the questions.
  • You may facilitate as follows:
    • Classrooom 1, are you ready to answer questions?
    • Classroom 2, your question for Classroom 1? … Thank you.
    • Classroom 3, your question for Classroom 1? … Alright, Classroom 5?
    • Classroom 4, your question for CLassroom 1? … Thanks. Classroom 6?
    • Classroom 2 are you ready to answer questions?
    • Classroom 1, what is your question for Classroom 2? … Ok. Classroom 3? etc.
  • I find that I have to keep a finger on who is answering as I go down the list of the classes to keep them straight!

11:00-11:10: Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.

  • After the Q&A, give classes the full 10 minutes to re evaluate their answers. Use the BigClock again if possible.
  • Encourage teams who are sure of the answer to help the other teams.

11:10-11:20: Each classroom presents their ‘answers’ to the clues.

  • When everyone comes back after 10 minutes, then have each class present their answers. Encourage teachers to have the students saying the answer come right up to the mic and be ready.
  • It could go like this:
    • Classroom 1, your answer for Classroom 2? Your answer for Classroom 3? Your answer for Classroom 4? …
    • Alright, classroom 2. What are your answers? for Classroom 1? ….
  • Have them say it again if it isn’t clear or they said it too fast to understand.
  • Remind kids that they won’t find out right now if they are right or not. They should frame their answer as: “Our guess for classroom 1 is that the country is * and the city is *.” (Sometimes they say, is it xxx? and then wait for a reply.)

11:20-11:30: Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.

  • Then have each classroom present the correct answer. Again go in order (1-6).

11:30: Congratulations and sign-off.

  • At the end, congratulate everyone for a job well done, creative presentations, etc.
  • Remind teachers to fill out the evaluation (if you are doing one).
  • Encourage kids to clap for each other, and to wave goodbye.

History

Learning Space
This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004). LearningSpace ran two projects like this: Where in Washington and Where in the USA?

Berrien RESA
In 2002, Berrien RESA created the MysteryQuest World: middle school world geography version and offered it widely across the U.S. and internationally.

In 2005, when LearningSpace was no longer running Where in the USA?; Berrien RESA started running MysteryQuest USA which was also offered widely across the U.S.

In 2008, Berrien RESA ran LiteratureQuest, designed by Kim Fritz, a teacher who participated in the 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing workshop.

In 2009, inspired by the Texas History Mystery and Wisconsin History Mystery based on MysteryQuest; Berrien RESA added HistoryQuest5: Beginnings to 1800 and HistoryQuest8: Civil War or Revolutionary War.

In May 2011, Berrien RESA bequeathed these popular projects to Whirlidurb to run in the future, as Roxanne Glaser is an incredible facilitator and has contributed to the quality of materials and facilitation materials for MysteryQuest since 2007.

TWICE
In 2007, TWICE started running an annual Where in MI?


MysteryQuest Lesson Ideas

These are a sampling of lesson ideas written by teachers in various classes… all of them are based on the MysteryQuest format:

A sampling of projects posted in CAPspace based on the MysteryQuest format:

Math Fridays Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Description: Math Fridays are intended to give students a chance to practice and develop their problem solving skills and to practice sharing and discussing problem solving strategies. Classes will create an interactive activity for their partner class to engage in.

VC Agenda:

  • 5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
  • 2-3 min. Both classes present to each other a problem (visually and orally).
  • 3-5 min. Sites mute. One site puts up a timer. Students work in small groups to solve the other class’ problem. Teacher facilitate but don’t help!
  • 3-5 min. Classes present solutions and discuss problem solving strategies.
  • 3-5 min. Classes share a math joke.
  • Repeat until you run out of time.
  • If desired, allow students 5 min or so to ask each other questions.

Examples

Problem Solving Strategies

  • Find a pattern
  • Make a table
  • Work backwards
  • Guess and check
  • Draw a picture
  • Make a list
  • Write a number sentence
  • Use logical reasoning

How To

Make sure you have a visual to explain the math problem(s) to the other class. These tips will assist you.

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing
This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Preparation

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Interaction Choices

Preparation Steps

  1. Talk to your partner teacher via phone or email and negotiate the details.
  2. Review math problem solving skills with the students ahead of time.
  3. Practice communication the method of solving the math problem (sharing strategies and discussing solutions).
  4. Organize students in small work groups of 3-5 students to solve the problems together. Make sure each group has pencils and paper and something hard to write on if you are moving to another room to videoconference.
  5. Designate a “game show host” type personality student at each site to welcome classes, congratulate each other, and keep score.
  6. Gather some math jokes to share with your partner class.
  7. Plan for a fun way to congratulate the other class when they solve a problem or share a good problem solving strategy (cheers, waving visuals etc.)

Resources

The following websites may assist your preparation. If you have other sites to add, click Join above so you can have access to edit this page.

Online Stopwatch
One class could use this (or another stopwatch on the document camera) while classes are problem solving:


Standards

Michigan Math Standards:

  • Standard V.2 Algebraic and Analytic Thinking. Students analyze problems to determine an appropriate process
    for solution.
  • Plus the standards for the skill set you’ve chosen.

VC Evaluation

Evaluation


Facilitator Resources

Email Confirmation Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc
Subject: Math Fridays: [topic] Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Math Fridays Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to give students a chance to practice their math problem solving skills.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Introductions
The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
Topic & Format: [add it here]

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
Topic & Format: [add it here]

Preparation
Preparation materials and resources are online:

Format
For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
15-20 min. Challenge each other with math problems.
10 min. Ask each other questions if desired.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.
Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.

  • Techs: Please confirm the connection details on the schedule and then set up a test call.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

-facilitator name

LiteratureQuest Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Boy Searching Through Books at Library 2003

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

A High School Literature Project

Welcome to the LiteratureQuest video conference project. This project is designed for high school students studying literature. Through video conference technology students are able to meet other students while learning about literature.

Prior to the video conference each classroom will create a three presentations with clues about their three pieces of literature. The other classrooms, using print resources, will try to discover the mystery literature presented by each participating classrooms.

New Short Agenda

  • 1 min: Intro & Directions by Janine
  • 20 min: 4 classes do 5 min presentations
  • 15 min: Research and solve (students can use computers from the start)
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct history mysteries revealed by each classroom.

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).

Process:

  • A) Pick a work of literature/poetry
  • B) Prepare clues for other classes
  • C) Practice your presentation
  • D) Present your clues by VC; listen to one other school’s presentation
  • E) Research using your classroom textbook to figure out the mysterious literature/poetry (Please NO INTERNET USAGE)
  • F) Come back together; ask one more “yes/no” question. After 5 minutes. Each school gives their answer.

Standards

Language Arts
Content Standard 3: All students will focus on meaning and communication as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic contexts.
1. Integrate listening, viewing, speaking, reading, and writing skills for multiple purposes and in varied contexts. An example is using all the language arts to prepare and present a unit project on career exploration.
3. Read and write fluently, speak confidently, listen and interact appropriately, view critically, and represent creatively. Examples include reporting formally to an audience, debating issues, and interviewing members of the public.
Content Standard 6: All students will learn to communicate information accurately and effectively and demonstrate their expressive abilities by creating oral, written, and visual texts that enlighten and engage an audience.
2. Demonstrate their ability to use different voices in oral and written communication to persuade, inform, entertain, and inspire their audiences.
4. Document and enhance a developing voice through multiple media. Examples include reflections for their portfolios, audio and video tapes, and submissions for publications.
Content Standard 10: All students will apply knowledge, ideas, and issues drawn from texts to their lives and the lives of others.
2. Perform the daily functions of a literate individual. Examples include acquiring information from multiple sources and then evaluating, organizing, and communicating it in various contexts.
Content Standard 11: All students will define and investigate important issues and problems using a variety of resources, including technology, to explore and create texts.
2. Explain and use resources that are most appropriate and readily available for investigating a particular question or topic. Examples include knowledgeable people, field trips, tables of contents, indexes, glossaries, icons/headings, hypertext, storage addresses, CDROM/ laser disks, electronic mail, and library catalogue databases.
3. Organize, analyze, and synthesize information to draw conclusions and implications based on their investigation of an issue or problem.
Technology
Content Standard 2: All students will use technologies to input, retrieve, organize, manipulate, evaluate, and communicate information.
1. Demonstrate skill using technologies to prepare, evaluate and synthesize information collected and stored (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
3. Retrieve, communicate and input information using a technological system (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
4. Evaluate information received through technologies.
Content Standard 3: All students will apply appropriate technologies to critical thinking, creative expression, and decision making skills.
2. Use technologies as tools for creative expression and communication of ideas (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).
4. Use technologies to organize thoughts in a logical process (voice, data, video, graphics, etc).

Holiday Extravaganza Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted! This Holiday Extravaganza project was co-written with Roxanne Glaser.

Description:

Classes will create a presentation that involves interaction by the other 3 or 4 classes. Presentation can be tailored to whatever content is being taught. Ideas for presentations include: Mad-libs, holiday customs with clues, holiday riddles, holiday sing-a-long, holiday math problems, or other creative ways to engage other classes in the presentation.


Examples

Types of Interaction

  • Traditions
  • Holiday Math Problems
  • Mad-libs
  • Where is Santa?
  • 20 Questions

More Ideas

  • Christmas carols: Students act out a Christmas carol and the other sites have to guess what it was and sing part of it.
  • Game shows can work well, but watch the time. Your class will only have 10 minutes to engage the other classes.
  • Morph your holiday tradition research into a “mystery challenge” format. Give the other classes clues and make them guess.
  • Readers Theater is another excellent format where the other classes have repetitive parts to share back.

Fact or Opinion –
4th grade students used sock puppets to read statements and then call on other classes to determine if the statement was a FACT or OPINION.

Singers
2nd grade students shared holiday carols in both English and Spanish for the other classes.

Geography Skit
This 4th grade class used the Today Show as the format for giving us clues about where Santa was. These two anchors would send it over to “reporters” on location who would each have a bit more information on where Santa was located.

Holiday Math
5th grade classes prepared three holiday math problems for the other classes to solve. This was printed out on a piece of copy paper and taped on the wall and then the camera was zoomed in on the problem. The other classes would solve the problems. (If you do a Math Challenge, be sure to sign up in a spot with other math classes.)

Silent Night Live
6th grade classes seem to like the variety show style of presentations. This presentation included holiday jokes and “mystery holiday movies” and songs. Students were dressed up and really got into their presentation. (Remember to keep the total time to 7-10 minutes.)

Musical Productions
1st grade class performed a Christmas tree dance and song which was one that they performed at their school for their Christmas program. They moved the videoconference unit into the multi-purpose room and participated in the conference from there.

Christmas Around the World
3rd grade class shared their presentation of holiday traditions from countries that they had studied. If you do this type of presentation, be sure to present the information so that the other classes can guess to try to figure out the country or ask participating classes to compare/contrast customs and traditions with ours.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which grade level is at which time on the Participating Classrooms page?
Classes will be added to the schedule as the registrations are submitted. Check the Participating Classroom page to see which times and grade levels will be a good fit for your class.

What is the Holiday Extravaganza (Grades 2-6)?
Glad you asked. It is the first of its kind interactive videoconference event for grades 2-6. Your class can present anything with a holiday-related theme as long as it includes interactions with the other classes. The interactions should be simple, such as having the partner classes guess the answer to something you present. If the other classes will need pencil and paper to complete the interactions, note that on the participating classes page.

We study different holiday traditions and cultures. May I present that?
If you really like doing the Holidays Around the World format of presentation. Go for it! The only change you will need to make is don’t tell us what your country is. Make clues or riddle or sing a song and then make the other schools guess.

What do I put on the registration page where it says, “Enter a short description of the Holiday Challenge your class will present”?
Here are a couple of examples:

  • “Our class will present 10 Christmas statements that are either FACT or FICTION. We will ask the other classes to guess whether each statement is true or not.”
  • “Our class will have a holiday Mad-lib. We will call on our partner classes to provide holiday parts of speech to complete the Mad-lib. We will fill them in and then read the completed Mad-lib to the group.”
  • “Our class will research holiday traditions in Germany. We will sing a song, present the flag, and two other clues. We will begin with the clue that is the most difficult. Each clue will make our mystery country more obvious. The other classes will guess what our country is.”

How To

Stabilize Anything You Want to Show
If you want to show ANYTHING to the other sites, stabilize it. Tape it to the wall, put it on a bulletin board, sit it on a table, chair or easel. It is very difficult to see items when students are holding them trying to follow the camera.

Zoom the Camera
Once you have an object stabilized, ZOOM in on it. Practice with the camera presets so that you can quickly move the camera during the connection. Notice in this picture that the bulletin board paper is at the back of the room…it is quite noisy on camera.

Cue Cards
While some students do well memorizing their parts, it is a great idea to use cue cards or note cards for the students to read. They can practice reading with expression to effectively communicate. Remember it is better to use a sturdy paper or cardstock rather than the copy paper which can make a LOT of noise during a conference.

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing
This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Practice & Test
Practice with your videoconference equipment!
Test if you plan to use a document camera or computer hook up!


Preparation

Work it into your curriculum:
There are no guidelines about countries and presentations. The presentation is limited to no more than 10 minutes per site and MUST include interactions for the other classes.

Plan to engage the other classes in interaction.
The holiday challenge is a unique project where the classes do not just present, they craft an interaction that will engage the other classes during their session. The key to success is to think about what the other classes will be doing. The engagement of the other classes is what pulls in the students…it is boring to just watch a videoconference for an hour…we want thinking and problem-solving going on.

See the Examples page for ideas and the How To page for assistance with visuals.

Time Limit: 10 Minutes
We will have 4 classes in each hour long connection so it is imperative that you keep your classes interaction to 10 minutes. Practice with a stopwatch to make sure!!

Game Show Templates
Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.


Resources

Holiday Certificate to customize for your students by Lola Williams.


Standards

Michigan Standards
Technology:

  • Technology Communication Tools #1: use a variety of telecommunication tools to collaborate interactively with peers, experts, and other audiences.
  • Technology Communication Tools #2: create a project using a variety of media and formats to present content information to an audience.

Language Arts:

  • Standard 7. Skills and Processes. All students will demonstrate, analyze, and reflect upon the skills and processes used to communicate through listening, speaking, viewing, reading, and writing.

Social Studies:

  • Standard II.I Diversity of People, Places, and Cultures. All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements.

Math:

  • Standard V.2 Algebraic and Analytic Thinking. Students analyze problems to determine an appropriate process
    for solution.

Evaluation

VC Evaluation Form


Facilitator Resources

Confirmation Letter for Dec 8, 9, 11

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc
Subject: Holiday Extravaganza Confirmation: [date]

Welcome to our Holiday Extravaganza project. The goals of this project are for your students to practice academic skills within a holiday theme.

DATE: [enter here]
TIME: [include time in both partner’s time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Test Call
The test call window for this event is November 30 from 1:30-2:30 EST / 12:30-1:30 CST. Only schools outside of Berrien RESA’s service area need to test. If there are problems during the test call, please call

Project Website:
Please visit the website for presentation ideas, tips, and resources for preparation.

VC Agenda (sessions will be moderated by Janine)

  1. Brief introduction of schools
  2. 10 minute (max!!) interactions led by each class

Participating Classes
1. School name, topic, required materials
2. School name, topic, required materials
3. School name, topic, required materials
4. School name, topic, required materials

If you have any questions as you prepare for the videoconference, please email.

Thank you for your participation!


Confirmation Letter for Dec 10 Point to Point sessions

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc
Subject: Holiday Extravaganza Confirmation: [date]

Welcome to our Holiday Extravaganza project. The goals of this project are for your students to practice academic skills within a holiday theme.

DATE: [enter here]
TIME: [include time in both partner’s time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Project Website:
Please visit the website for presentation ideas, tips, and resources for preparation.

VC Agenda (This session is NOT moderated.)

  1. Brief introduction of each school
  2. Each class leads their interactive activity.
  3. After the interactions, students may engage in a general “getting to know you” question and answer session with their partner school

PARTNERS:
Classroom A:
[teacher name] [grade]
[school name, city, state]

Classroom B:
[teacher name] [grade]
[school name, city, state]

If you have any questions as you prepare for the videoconference, please email .

Thank you for your participation!


Holiday Extravaganza Countdown Letter

To: Techs & Teachers
Subject: Holiday Extravaganza Countdown

Greetings,

Just a reminder that next week is our Holiday Extravaganza.

Schedule
The presentation topics & schedule are listed online here:

Materials
Please also note on this page the required materials for each session. Make sure you have the supplies necessary to interact with the other classes. Make sure the required materials are listed right for your interaction as well.

Leading the Interaction

  1. Practice, practice, practice!
  2. Make sure anything that you are showing on camera is stationary. (Use easels or set objects on tables. Keep butcher paper away from the microphone!) Mute microphones when moving butcher paper items.
  3. Use index cards to write speaking parts on. Copy paper makes so much noise that student voices cannot be heard.
  4. Let your videoconference coordinator know what you are planning for your presentation. They will be able to help you with the computer or audio issues and share tips with you!
  5. Be creative and have fun!

Connections
For this event, you’ll be dialing  unless otherwise indicated on the schedule:
f you have trouble during the videoconference, please call .

We’re looking forward to this event! See you next week!

Janine

HistoryQuest8 Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

An 8th Grade US History Project

Choose your focus:

  • Revolutionary War
  • Civil War

This project is designed for 8th grade students studying US History. Through video conference technology, students are able to meet other students while learning about United States history. Prior to the video conference each classroom will create a presentation with clues about a mystery person, event, invention, issue/problem or section from a document. The other classrooms, using maps, the Internet, textbooks, and other resources, will try to discover the history mystery presented by each participating classroom.

Flyer: historyquest8flyer

New Short Agenda

  • 1 min: Intro & Directions by Janine
  • 20 min: 4 classes do 5 min presentations or (25 min for 5 classes)
  • 15 min: Research and solve (students can use computers from the start)
  • 3-5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 3-5 min. Correct history mysteries revealed by each classroom.

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).


Examples

Sample Visuals

Note: Some of these samples are from geography MysteryQuests.

Visual clues can really make a difference in note taking if we have audio problems. Often students read clues too fast and quiet for other students to write them down. So the best solution is to include visual clues to accompany your presentation. This is HIGHLY recommended.

Posters

 Posters are the easiest way to share a visual clue but can also be the most difficult to show effectively in a videoconference. In presentations where the other class is taking notes, clear posters are crucial. Even in presentations where the partner class is listening, it is still very frustrating when posters aren’t clear. Placing a poster on an easel keeps the poster still and is therefore easier for the other class to see it. Make sure the font is large and easy to read.

• Your poster should only include information that is needed to answer the HistoryQuest questions. All extra information should be presented separately.

• Bottom Line: Large text, strong contrast with no light colors for lettering, and very large pictures or drawings. Huge thick lines for drawing and writing are best. Test your poster by holding it up; across the room to see if you can still read it. Have students read their part off of the back of the poster instead of the front. This makes it easier to hold the poster still (if not using and easel.)

Use the VC Poster Handout to give to your student groups to assist in making their posters.


The last clue is: “No one sinks ‘em better”. Can you think of what revolutionary war ship this would be about?

Document Camera

Many videoconference systems include a document camera. You can put 8 1/2 by 11 pages (landscape) on the document camera to share clues. Ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you have access to a document camera. You may want to consider setting presets so that you can switch between the students and the document camera.

With the document camera, it comes through best if you stack the clues and then pull the top one off. This reduces the blurry transition time.

PowerPoint

If you’re really up for using technology, ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you can hook up a computer to your videoconference equipment. Make sure you use large letters. Avoid red. Dark backgrounds with contrasting light text works best. If possible, test the PowerPoint ahead of time to make sure it can be read.

You may want to consider some plan so that we can see the students, then the PowerPoint, then the students again. Or show the PP as a review at the end of your presentation if there is time in your allotted 5-7 minutes.

Background Sets

Some classes like to design elaborate sets for their presentations, which are very visually appealing. Here are some examples:

Organizing Your Research Time

These pictures are from Pine River Elementary. They give a great flavor of what the research portion is like in the classroom. I especially like the picture of this strategy of having a wall or whiteboard or place to write the guesses for all the schools. It gives a focal point to the research. See how the students are working there.

[Wikispaces conversion note: Images were removed from the Pine River website and are no longer available.]

Revealing Your Answer

A visual aid for revealing your answer is also a nice touch and reinforces the learning.

Involve All Your Students
During a videoconference, it’s wise to include as many students as possible. Here is a suggested list of jobs to assign students.

  1. Art crew-design backdrop and paint.
  2. Directors-(usually one girl and one boy).
  3. Stage hands-move props.
  4. Lighting and sound crew-turn on and off lights/adjust microphone.
  5. Narrators-(usually good readers and who are not shy to speak in front of the camera).
  6. Actors
  7. Costume and make-up-help put together costumes and help with make-up.
  8. Writers-help write and edit script-help with timing and what scenes can be deleted or added.
  9. Cue card holders-hold up cards with lines on them for anyone who might get stuck-hold up scene or act cards during a transition.
  10. Question and Answer team-These will be the ones who answer and ask questions to the other class at the end of the conference.
  11. Judges-These students watch the performance by both schools and write down any changes that might improve the conference for the next time-we must always learn from our mistakes.
  12. Take Down crew-cleans up after conference.

This student job list was presented by Kim Pearce, Gatesville Intermediate School, Language Arts 6th grade teacher, at the 123 Jazzing Up Your Curriculum Workshop Summer 2006. Used by permission.


Preparation

Preparation Resources

Preparing Your Classroom Presentation:

  1. Choose one mystery person, event, invention, issue/problem or section from a document to present. Four history mysteries total will be presented. Do NOT choose a history mystery that students should know by memory if they have studied the Revolutionary War / Civil War. They should not be able to guess while listening to the presentation.
  2. Email your mystery right away to Janine Lim so she can check for duplicates.
  3. In the presentation, give the required clues in your presentation. Do NOT give dates, as these are too easy to Google and find the correct answer. If you really want to give a date, give it in the form of a math problem or other creative two-part clue instead of just the date to copy down.
  4. Prepare a visual to reveal the answer to your presentation.
  5. Provide paper for taking notes for each student in the class. (Suggestion: if you have each student takes notes on each presentation, if a team figures out a mystery quickly they can help another team.)

Tips for shorter preparation time:

  • Have all your sections do the same history mystery
  • Use the same visuals (posters/PowerPoint) for all your sections
  • Teacher tip: “My 8th graders of mixed abilities, took about 50 minutes to create 2 different History Quests. I broke students into 2 teams, they took a “divide and conquer” approach. One student manned the Powerpoint station, while the other researchers discussed and developed the clues in a business meeting format.” -Monica M. Kwiatkowski,Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School, Cuba, NY

Fast Transitions

  • Know the schedule and have your students up at the mic ready to go.
  • When you’re about to present, have some kids taking notes and the others getting ready to go.

Helpful Resources from Other Projects


Required Clues

Questions to Answer
Be sure to keep the presentation to 5 minutes or less.

Revolutionary or Civil War
Make sure your presentation fits with the session you registered for. We run Revolutionary War in the fall and Civil War in the spring.

Developing your Clues:
When developing your clues try to make sure each one is challenging. The other classes should not be able to determine your history mystery just from hearing one or two clues and not doing any research. For example, if you were presenting a clue for George Washington, you would never want to come out and say “he was the first president of the United States.” Also, you would not want to give a clue that the other classes can Google and find in the first few search result descriptions.

Do NOT give dates, as these are too easy to Google and find the correct answer. If you really want to give a date, give it in the form of a math problem or use other creative two part clue instead of just the date to copy down. Make the other class use their knowledge of the Revolutionary War or Civil War to figure it out. It should take them longer than 5-10 minutes to figure it out.

History Clues:
Give at least 5 clues in your presentation, using these as suggestions of what information to give.
General
Somewhere in your presentation, give the following required clue in a creative interesting manner.
1. Which type of history mystery is it? (person, event, invention, issue/problem or section from a document)
Person
1. What main events in history surrounded this person?
2. Why is he or she familiar to us?
3. Why do, or should we, study about him or her?
Event
1. What is the setting of the event? (North, South, East, or West)
2. What were some causes of the event?
3. Who were some major characters involved in the event?
4. What were some results/outcomes of the event?
Invention
1. Give a range of dates for the invention.
2. Give a clue about the immediate or long term impact this invention had on the nation.
3. Give a clue about obstacles or controversy surrounding the invention.
4. Give a clue about background information leading up to the invention. (a need, accidental discovery, etc.)
Issue or Problem
1. What caused this to be an issue or problem?
2. Who or what created or contributed to this issue or problem?
3. What were some actions taken to solve this issue or problem?
4. Give a clue about major characters involved in this issue or problem.
5. Give a clue about this issue or problem’s immediate or long term impact on the nation.
Section from Document
1. Give a clue about the creators of the document.
2. Give a clue about the surrounding events inspiring this section of the document.
3. Give a clue about the immediate or long term impact this section of the document had or has on the nation.


Resources

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Revolutionary War

The Civil War

Resources in Detail within the Units for the Michigan Citizenship Curriculum

Presentation Preparation Links


Standards

Michigan Social Studies 8th Grade Level Content Expectations

U3.3 Creating New Government(s) and a New Constitution
Explain the challenges faced by the new nation and analyze the development of the Constitution as a new plan for governing. [Foundations for Civics HSCE Standard 2.2.] Note: Expectations U3.3.1–U3.3.5 address content that was introduced in Grade 5, but ask for explanation and analysis at a higher level than expected in Grade 5. They are included here to support in-depth discussion of the historical and philosophical origins of constitutional government in the United States. (U3.3.6)

8 – U3.3.1 Explain the reasons for the adoption and subsequent failure of the Articles of Confederation (e.g., why its drafters created a weak central government, challenges the nation faced under the Articles, Shays’ Rebellion, disputes over western lands). (C2)
8 – U3.3.2 Identify economic and political questions facing the nation during the period of the Articles of Confederation and the opening of the Constitutional Convention. (E1.4)
8 – U3.3.3 Describe the major issues debated at the Constitutional Convention including the distribution of political power, conduct of foreign affairs, rights of individuals, rights of states, election of the executive, and slavery as a regional and federal issue.
8 – U3.3.4 Explain how the new constitution resolved (or compromised) the major issues including sharing, separating, and checking of power among federal government institutions, dual sovereignty (state-federal power), rights of individuals, the Electoral College, the Three-Fifths Compromise, and the Great Compromise.
8 – U3.3.5 Analyze the debates over the ratification of the Constitution from the perspectives of Federalists and Anti-Federalists and describe how the states ratified the Constitution. (C2) (National Geography Standard 3, p. 148)
8 – U3.3.6 Explain how the Bill of Rights reflected the concept of limited government, protections of basic freedoms, and the fear of many Americans of a strong central government. (C3)
8 – U3.3.7 Using important documents (e.g., Mayflower Compact, Iroquois Confederacy, Common Sense, Declaration of Independence, Northwest Ordinance, Federalist Papers), describe the historical and philosophical origins of constitutional government in the United States using the ideas of social compact, limited government, natural rights, right of revolution, separation of powers, bicameralism, republicanism, and popular participation in government. (C2)
U4 USHG ERA 4 – Expansion and Reform (1792-1861)
U4.1 Challenges to an Emerging Nation

Analyze the challenges the new government faced and the role of political and social leaders in meeting these
challenges.

8 – U4.1.1 Washington’s Farewell – Use Washington’s Farewell Address to analyze the most significant challenges the new nation faced and the extent to which subsequent Presidents heeded Washington’s advice. (C4)
8 – U4.1.2 Establishing America’s Place in the World – Explain the changes in America’s relationships with other nations by analyzing treaties with American Indian nations, Jay’s Treaty (1795), French Revolution, Pinckney’s Treaty (1795), Louisiana Purchase, War of 1812, Transcontinental Treaty (1819), and the Monroe Doctrine. (C4) (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169)
8 – U4.1.3 Challenge of Political Conflict – Explain how political parties emerged out of the competing ideas, experiences, and fears of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton (and their followers), despite the worries the Founders had concerning the dangers of political division, by analyzing disagreements over
• relative power of the national government (e.g., Whiskey Rebellion, Alien and Sedition Acts) and of the executive branch (e.g., during the Jacksonian era) (C3) (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169)
• foreign relations (e.g., French Revolution, relations with Great Britain) (C3) (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169)
• economic policy (e.g., the creation of a national bank, assumption of revolutionary debt) (C3, E2.2)
8 – U4.1.4 Establishing a National Judiciary and Its Power – Explain the development of the power of the Supreme Court through the doctrine of judicial review as manifested in Marbury v. Madison (1803) and the role of Chief Justice John Marshall and the Supreme Court in interpreting the power of the national government (e.g., McCullouch v. Maryland, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, Gibbons v. Ogden). (C3, E1.4, 2.2)
U5 USHG ERA 5 – Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
U5.1 The Coming of the Civil War

Analyze and evaluate the early attempts to abolish or contain slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of
Independence.

8 – U5.1.1 Explain the differences in the lives of free blacks (including those who escaped from slavery) with the lives of free whites and enslaved peoples. (C2)
8 – U5.1.2 Describe the role of the Northwest Ordinance and its effect on the banning of slavery (e.g., the establishment of Michigan as a free state). (National Geography Standard 12, p. 167)
8 – U5.1.3 Describe the competing views of Calhoun, Webster, and Clay on the nature of the union among the states (e.g., sectionalism, nationalism, federalism, state rights). (C3)
8 – U5.1.4 Describe how the following increased sectional tensions
• the Missouri Compromise (1820)
• the Wilmot Proviso (1846)
• the Compromise of 1850 including the Fugitive Slave Act
• the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) and subsequent conflict in Kansas
• the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857)
• changes in the party system (e.g., the death of the Whig party, rise of the Republican party and division of the Democratic party) (C2; C3) (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169)
8 – U5.1.5 Describe the resistance of enslaved people (e.g., Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, John Brown, Michigan’s role in the Underground Railroad) and effects of their actions before and during the Civil War. (C2)
8 – U5.1.6 Describe how major issues debated at the Constitutional Convention such as disagreements over the distribution of political power, rights of individuals (liberty and property), rights of states, election of the executive, and slavery help explain the Civil War. (C2) (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169)

U5.2 Civil War
Evaluate the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.
8 – U5.2.1 Explain the reasons (political, economic, and social) why Southern states seceded and explain the differences in the timing of secession in the Upper and Lower South. (C3, E1.2) (National Geography Standard 6, p. 154)
8 – U5.2.2 Make an argument to explain the reasons why the North won the Civil War by considering the
• critical events and battles in the war
• the political and military leadership of the North and South
• the respective advantages and disadvantages, including geographic, demographic, economic and technological (E1.4) (National Geography Standard 15, p. 173)
8 – U5.2.3 Examine Abraham Lincoln’s presidency with respect to
• his military and political leadership
• the evolution of his emancipation policy (including the Emancipation Proclamation)
• and the role of his significant writings and speeches, including the Gettysburg Address and its relationship to the Declaration of Independence (C2)
8 – U5.2.4 Describe the role of African Americans in the war, including black soldiers and regiments, and the increased resistance of enslaved peoples.
8 – U5.2.5 Construct generalizations about how the war affected combatants, civilians (including the role of women), the physical environment, and the future of warfare, including technological developments. (National Geography Standard 14, p. 171)
U6 USHG ERA 6 – THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDUSTRIAL, URBAN,AND GLOBAL UNITED STATES (1870-1930)

U6.2 Investigation Topics and Issue Analysis (P2)
Use the historical perspective to investigate a significant historical topic from United States History Eras 3-6 that also
has significance as an issue or topic in the United States today.
8 – U6.2.1 United States History Investigation Topic and Issue Analysis, Past and Present – Use historical perspectives to analyze issues in the United States from the past and the present; conduct research on a historical issue or topic, identify a connection to a contemporary issue, and present findings (e.g., oral, visual, video, or electronic presentation, persuasive essay, or research paper); include causes and consequences of the historical action and predict possible consequences of the contemporary action. (National Geography Standards 9 and 10, pp. 160 and 162)
Examples of Investigation Topics and Questions (and examples from United States History)
Balance of Power – How has the nation addressed tensions between state and federal governmental power? (e.g., Articles of Confederation, U.S. Constitution, states’ rights issues, secession, others)
Liberty vs. Security – How has the nation balanced liberty interests with security interests? (e.g., Alien and Sedition Acts, suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War)
The Government and Social Change – How have governmental policies, the actions of reformers, and economic and demographic changes affected social change? (e.g., abolitionist movement, women’s movement, Reconstruction policies)
Movement of People – How has the nation addressed the movement of people into and within the United States? (e.g., American Indians, immigrants)


Facilitator Resources

Confirmation Letter

Greetings ##PARTICIPANTNAME##,

This confirmation is for the following session:
##EVENTTITLE##
##EVENTTIME##
##EVENTLOCALTIME## (your time)

Please read below for technical and teacher information.


Technical Contacts (##EQUIPMENTCONTACT##):


According to our records, you will be participating with this equipment:

##EQUIPMENTNAME## with IP ##EQUIPMENTIP##
If this is incorrect, please let me know.


Test Call


The test call window for this event is on April 16 from 1:00-3:00 EST / 12:00-2:00 CST.
Your dial in number for the event and test call is:. If you cannot dial this, we can probably call you. Please discuss further by emailing .

If you have problems during the connection or test call, please call me at .


Assist Your Teacher


If possible, please help your teacher understand the distance learning room setup and the options available for presentation (document camera, computer hook up, mic locations, etc.). Find out if they need/want computer access during the research portion of the event. Note that it is highly unlikely that People Plus Content / H.239 / DuoVideo will work for this conference.


Connection Day


The connection will be open for you to dial in 15 minutes before the start of the program. Please dial in as soon as possible. We aim to have
every site connected by 10 minutes before the start of the program.


Teacher Information (##PARTICIPANTNAME##):


CRITICAL: If you haven’t already done so, please email me with the history mystery your class will present. One way to do this is to have students
vote for top choices and submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the
selected mystery.

Detailed information about this project can be found at:
Note especially the questions your students should answer in their presentation.

The teacher preparation materials can be found at:


Video Taped Presentations


Please do NOT prepare a taped presentation. Taped presentations are very difficult to understand when sent over compressed video. Please present LIVE!


Video Releases


The event may be recorded by Berrien RESA for improvement of the project, as well as illustrations to post on the web for next year’s project. In addition, many schools tape the program they participate in. Because of this, please make sure the students who appear on camera have permission from their parents/guardian. (Some schools have a video/photograph release form built into their registration process. Here’s a Word file sample you can use.
Please leave the credit at the bottom of the form.)

If you have any questions, you may call me at  or email me. Thank you.

Janine
Instructional Technology Consultant
Berrien RESA

HistoryQuest8 Presentation and Test Call Reminders

HistoryQuest8 Teachers and Contacts:
A few reminders and items I want to emphasize as you’re preparing your presentations!

Test Calls
The test call windows are this week: [date & times here]
The IP is [IP here]. If you can’t do the extension, try just the IP.
I’ll be taking only 3 sites at a time for testing, so if you get a busy signal, try again in a few minutes.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to present with the computer, please be ready to test the computer connection.
If you have trouble during the test or the program, call .

Countries
If you haven’t yet sent me the mystery you are presenting, please do so as soon as possible. One way to choose is to have students vote for top choices & submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the selected mystery. We do this to make sure there are no duplicate presentations.

Make It Hard!
We want to make sure the students really challenge each other. Make sure that you can’t just type a clue in Google and get the answer. Some classes get really creative in writing clues that have to be solved before you can find the answer. For example: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=504 Lately in these programs we’ve had much more a challenge getting hard enough clues. So challenge each other!

Two part clues work better, where you have to solve one part to know the full clue to find the answer (i.e. he won a medal at the battle of what is now Jersey City). Also do not give full dates for events. It should take the other class at least 10 minutes to solve the history mystery.

Clearly Present Clues
Remember that the goal of your presentation is to clearly communicate the clues to the other classes, not to confuse them so they can’t guess. Here are some ways we highly recommend:

*Avoid taped presentations, as the quality of the tape gets degraded when sent over videoconferencing. Plus students will be better prepared to answer questions if their presentation is fresh in their mind.

*Prepare visuals to reinforce proper names and figures that are important to locating your mystery. Visuals for clues can be a “life saver” if we have technical difficulties or audio problems. Use this worksheet to assist your students in making clear posters or PPT slides:

*Have students practice speaking slowly, loudly, and clearly! Practice those communication skills!

*Have students read clues off notecards instead of paper so that we don’t have the noise of paper rustling.

Double Check your Clues
Check to make sure you are presenting all the required clues and the correct number from each section

Double check your visuals and make sure what the other class should write down is the LARGEST.

Revealing the Answer
Please prepare a visual for revealing the mystery you presented.

Relax!
I know it can be crazy getting prepared and ready for this event, but relax! Enjoy the process. It should be fun for everyone involved and a great learning experience too!

As always, you can email me or call if you have any questions or want to discuss your presentation or the event.

Janine

HistoryQuest8 Countdown (sent Friday before event)

Subject: HistoryQuest8 [war] [date & time]
Greetings HistoryQuest8 Teachers & Contacts!

Just a few more days til our HistoryQuest8 event! In anticipation of that, here are a few notes for:
[date]: [start & end time in all represented time zones]

Number of Groups
We have [xxx] classes participating, so you should divide your
students into [xxx] groups for researching the other presentations.

Connections
Please connect at least 15 minutes early so we can start on time.
IP: [connection info here]
If you have trouble, call me at .

Order of Presentations
Classes are assigned a number by when they sign up. The assigned
order is:
Classroom 1 Teacher:
Classroom 2 Teacher:
Classroom 3 Teacher:
Classroom 4 Teacher:

Things to Bring
*All materials needed for your presentation.
*Research notes from the presentation in case another school has specific questions about your country or city.
*Any print materials for students to use in their research (books, maps, globes, etc.).
*If desired, arrange for the use of computers/Internet connection during the research portion of the event.
*Blank sheets for note taking.

Note Taking
Plan to have all students take notes on all presentations. This will help keep them involved, give them practice taking notes, and groups could help each other during in the research process if needed.

Computers
If you are using computers for this event, please do the following:
1. Do not allow students to use them during the note-taking. They should be practicing taking notes and being a good listening audience. Remember it’s possible you are the school the presenting school is looking at when they present. So be an attentive audience!

2. During the research portion, only use computers as a last resort. This event is about map skills, group skills, research skills. Some clues could give the answer quickly in Google and we’d rather have students really work to use maps etc. to discover the answer.

I’m excited about this wonderful learning opportunity for our students and look forward to a great event!

Janine

Post Project / Evaluation Reminder

Thank you for participating in HistoryQuest this week. Please take a moment to complete the evaluation so that we can continue to improve the program.

Also, I have added your email to my HistoryQuest8 listserv. Please let me know if you don’t want to be on the list. I am hoping to run another HistoryQuest8 on the Civil War in April/May….

Thank you for your feedback and we hope you can join us for another HistoryQuest in the future!

Janine

HistoryQuest5 Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

A 5th Grade US History Project: Beginnings to 1800

This project is designed for 5th grade students studying US History. Through video conference technology, students are able to meet other students while learning about United States history.

Prior to the video conference each classroom will create a presentation with clues about a mystery person, event, invention, issue/problem or section from a document. The other classrooms, using maps, the Internet, textbooks, and other resources, will try to discover the history mystery presented by each participating classroom.

Flyer:  HistoryQuest5Flyer

Note Taking Form: HistoryQuest5NoteForm

Cost: Free for Berrien RESA’s schools. $35 for everyone else.

Videoconference Agenda

  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (Janine Lim will moderate)
  • 30 min. Classroom Presentations (5 min. each for 5-6 presentations)
  • 20 min. The Quest (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery clues presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (i.e. Classroom 1 answers all questions; classroom 2 answers all questions; etc.)
  • 5 min. Classroom teams ‘reevaluate’ their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery answers revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations, goodbye cheers, and sign-off.

Credit: This project is modeled after the Where in the USA project by Learning Space (1996-2004).

How To

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Involve All Your Students
During a videoconference, it’s wise to include as many students as possible. Here is a suggested list of jobs to assign students.

  1. Art crew-design backdrop and paint.
  2. Directors-(usually one girl and one boy).
  3. Stage hands-move props.
  4. Lighting and sound crew-turn on and off lights/adjust microphone.
  5. Narrators-(usually good readers and who are not shy to speak in front of the camera).
  6. Actors
  7. Costume and make-up-help put together costumes and help with make-up.
  8. Writers-help write and edit script-help with timing and what scenes can be deleted or added.
  9. Cue card holders-hold up cards with lines on them for anyone who might get stuck-hold up scene or act cards during a transition.
  10. Question and Answer team-These will be the ones who answer and ask questions to the other class at the end of the conference.
  11. Judges-These students watch the performance by both schools and write down any changes that might improve the conference for the next time-we must always learn from our mistakes.
  12. Take Down crew-cleans up after conference.

This list was presented by Kim Pearce, Gatesville Intermediate School, Language Arts 6th grade teacher, at the 123 Jazzing Up Your Curriculum Workshop Summer 2006. Used by permission.

Preparation

Preparation Resources

Preparing Your Classroom Presentation:

  1. Choose one mystery person, event, invention, issue/problem or section from a document to present. Four history mysteries total will be presented. Do NOT choose a history mystery that students should know by memory if they have studied the Beginnings to 1800 time period. The should not be able to guess while listening to the presentation.
  2. Email your mystery right away to Janine Lim so she can check for duplicates.
  3. In the presentation, give the required clues in your presentation. Do NOT give dates, as these are too easy to Google and the correct answer. If you really want to give a date, give it in the form of a math problem or other creative two part clue instead of just the date to copy down.
  4. Prepare a visual to reveal the answer to your presentation.
  5. Make sure all students have paper to take notes on all the presentations. This way if one team figures out a mystery quickly they can help another team.

Tips for shorter preparation time:

  • Have all your sections do the same city/country
  • Use the same visuals (posters/PowerPoint) for all your sections
  • Teacher tip: “My 8th graders of mixed abilities, took about 50 minutes to create 2 different History Quests. I broke students into 2 teams, they took a “divide and conquer” approach. One student manned the Powerpoint station, while the other researchers discussed and developed the clues in a business meeting format.” -Monica M. Kwiatkowski,Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School, Cuba, NY

Fast Transitions

  • Know the schedule and have your students up at the mic ready to go.
  • When you’re about to present, have some kids taking notes and the others getting ready to go.

Helpful Resources from Other Projects

Required Clues

HistoryQuest5: Questions to Answer

Be sure to keep the presentation to 5 minutes or less.

Developing your Clues:
When developing your clues try to make sure each one is challenging. The other classes should not be able to determine your history mystery just from hearing one or two clues and not doing any research. For example, if you were presenting a clue for George Washington, you would never want to come out and say “he was the first president of the United States.” Also, you would not want to give a clue that the other classes can Google and find in the first few search result descriptions.
Time Period: For HistoryQuest5, your history mystery MUST be from the Beginnings to 1800 time period. See the Standards to gain a better picture of what is included.

History Clues:
Give at least 5 clues in your presentation, using these as suggestions of what information to give.

General
Somewhere in your presentation, give the following required clue in a creative interesting manner.
1. Which type of history mystery is it? (person, event, invention, issue/problem or section from a document)

Person
1. What main events in history surrounded this person?
2. Why is he or she familiar to us?
3. Why do, or should we, study about him or her?

Event
1. What is the setting of the event? (North, South, East, or West)
2. What were some causes of the event?
3. Who were some major characters involved in the event?
4. What were some results/outcomes of the event?

Invention
1. Give a range of dates for the invention.
2. Give a clue about the immediate or long term impact this invention had on the nation.
3. Give a clue about obstacles or controversy surrounding the invention.
4. Give a clue about background information leading up to the invention. (a need, accidental discovery, etc.)

Issue or Problem

1. What caused this to be an issue or problem?
2. Who or what created or contributed to this issue or problem?
3. What were some actions taken to solve this issue or problem?
4. Give a clue about major characters involved in this issue or problem.
5. Give a clue about this issue or problem’s immediate or long term impact on the nation.

Section from Document

1. Give a clue about the creators of the document.
2. Give a clue about the surrounding events inspiring this section of the document.
3. Give a clue about the immediate or long term impact this section of the document had or has on the nation.

Resources

Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Research Web Links (organized by Michigan Curriculum Framework)
General U.S. History Sites:

Unit 1: Our Government

Unit 2: The First Americans

Unit 3: European Settlement

Unit 4: Colonial Life

Unit 5 & 6: Road to Revolution, The American Revolution

Unit 7: Establishing a National Government

Presentation Preparation Links

Standards

Social Studies 5th Grade Level Content Expectations (Michigan)

U1.1 American Indian Life in the Americas
Describe the life of peoples living in North America before European exploration.
5 – U1.1.1 Use maps to locate peoples in the desert Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland peoples east of the Mississippi River (Eastern Woodland). (National Geography Standard 1, p. 144)
5 – U1.1.2 Compare how American Indians in the desert Southwest and the Pacific Northwest adapted to or modified the environment. (National Geography Standard 14, p. 171)
5 – U1.1.3 Describe Eastern Woodland American Indian life with respect to governmental and family structures, trade, and views on property ownership and land use. (National Geography Standard 11, p. 164, C, E)

U1.2 European Exploration
Identify the causes and consequences of European exploration and colonization.
5 – U1.2.1 Explain the technological (e.g., invention of the astrolabe and improved maps), and political developments, (e.g., rise of nation-states), that made sea exploration possible. (National Geography Standard 1, p. 144, C)
5 – U1.2.2 Use case studies of individual explorers and stories of life in Europe to compare the goals, obstacles, motivations, and consequences for European exploration and colonization of the Americas (e.g., economic, political, cultural, and religious). (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169, C, E)

U2 USHG ERA 2 – Colonization and Setlement (1585-1763)
U2.1 European Struggle for Control of North America
Compare the regional settlement patterns and describe significant developments in Southern, New England, and
the mid-Atlantic colonies.
5 – U2.1.1 Describe significant developments in the Southern colonies, including
• patterns of settlement and control including the impact of geography (landforms and climate) on settlement (National Geography Standard 12, p. 167)
• establishment of Jamestown (National Geography Standard 4, p. 150)
• development of one-crop economies (plantation land use and growing season for rice in Carolinas and tobacco in Virginia) (National Geography Standard 11, p. 164)
• relationships with American Indians (e.g., Powhatan) (National Geography Standard 10, p. 162)
• development of colonial representative assemblies (House of Burgesses) (National Geography Standard 5, p. 152)
• development of slavery
5 – U2.1.2 Describe significant developments in the New England colonies, including
• patterns of settlement and control including the impact of geography (landforms and climate) on settlement (National Geography Standard 12, p. 167)
• relations with American Indians (e.g., Pequot/King Phillip’s War) (National Geography Standard 10, p. 162)
• growth of agricultural (small farms) and non-agricultural (shipping, manufacturing) economies (National Geography Standard 15, p. 173)
• the development of government including establishment of town meetings, development of colonial legislatures and growth of royal government (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169)
• religious tensions in Massachusetts that led to the establishment of other colonies in New England (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169 C, E)
5 – U2.1.3 Describe significant developments in the Middle Colonies, including
• patterns of settlement and control including the impact of geography (landforms and climate) on settlement (National Geography Standard 12, p. 167)
• the growth of Middle Colonies economies (e.g., breadbasket) (National Geography Standard 7, p. 156)
• The Dutch settlements in New Netherlands, Quaker settlement in Pennsylvania, and
subsequent English takeover of the Middle Colonies
• immigration patterns leading to ethnic diversity in the Middle Colonies
(National Geography Standard 10, p. 162, C, E)
5 – U2.1.4 Compare the regional settlement patterns of the Southern colonies, New England, and the
Middle Colonies. (National Geography Standard 12, p. 167)
U2.2 European Slave Trade and Slavery in Colonial America
Analyze the development of the slave system in the Americas and its impact upon the life of Africans.
5 – U2.2.1 Describe Triangular Trade including
• the trade routes
• the people and goods that were traded
• the Middle Passage
• its impact on life in Africa (National Geography Standards 9, and 11; pp. 160 and 164 E)
5 – U2.2.2 Describe the life of enslaved Africans and free Africans in the American colonies.
(National Geography Standard 5, p. 152)
5 – U2.2.3 Describe how Africans living in North America drew upon their African past (e.g., sense of family, role of oral tradition) and adapted elements of new cultures to develop a distinct African-American culture. (National Geography Standard 10, p. 162)

U2.3 Life in Colonial America
Distinguish among and explain the reasons for regional differences in colonial America.
5 – U2.3.1 Locate the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies on a map. (National Geography Standard 3 p. 148)
5 – U2.3.2 Describe the daily life of people living in the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies. (National Geography Standards 14 and 15; pp. 171 and 173)
5 – U2.3.3 Describe colonial life in America from the perspectives of at least three different groups of people (e.g., wealthy landowners, farmers, merchants, indentured servants, laborers and the poor, women, enslaved people, free Africans, and American Indians). (National Geography Standard 6, p. 154)
5 – U2.3.4 Describe the development of the emerging labor force in the colonies (e.g., cash crop farming, slavery, indentured servants). (E)
5 – U2.3.5 Make generalizations about the reasons for regional differences in colonial America. (National Geography Standard 6, p. 154)

U3 USHG ERA 3 Revolution and the New Nation (1754 – 1800)
U3.1 Causes of the American Revolution

Identify the major political, economic, and ideological reasons for the American Revolution.
5 – U3.1.1 Describe the role of the French and Indian War, how British policy toward the colonies in America changed from 1763 to 1775, and colonial dissatisfaction with the new policy.
(National Geography Standard 13 p. 169 C, E)
5 – U3.1.2 Describe the causes and effects of events such as the Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, and the Boston Massacre.
5 – U3.1.3 Using an event from the Revolutionary era (e.g., Boston Tea Party, quartering of soldiers, writs of assistance, closing of colonial legislatures), explain how British and colonial views on authority and the use of power without authority differed (views on representative government).
5 – U3.1.4 Describe the role of the First and Second Continental Congress in unifying the colonies (addressing the Intolerable Acts, declaring independence, drafting the Articles of Confederation). (C)
5 – U3.1.5 Use the Declaration of Independence to explain why the colonists wanted to separate from Great Britain and why they believed they had the right to do so. (C)
5 – U3.1.6 Identify the role that key individuals played in leading the colonists to revolution, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Thomas Paine.
5 – U3.1.7 Describe how colonial experiences with self-government (e.g., Mayflower Compact, House of Burgesses and town meetings) and ideas about government (e.g., purposes of government such as protecting individual rights and promoting the common good, natural rights, limited government, representative government) influenced the decision to declare independence. (C)
5 – U3.1.8 Identify a problem confronting people in the colonies, identify alternative choices for addressing the problem with possible consequences, and describe the course of action taken.

U3.2 The American Revolution and Its Consequences
Explain the multi-faceted nature of the American Revolution and its consequences.
5 – U3.2.1 Describe the advantages and disadvantages of each side during the American Revolution with respect to military leadership, geography, types of resources, and incentives. (National Geography Standard 4, p. 150, E)
5 – U3.2.2 Describe the importance of Valley Forge, Battle of Saratoga, and Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolution.
5 – U3.2.3 Compare the role of women, African Americans, American Indians, and France in helping shape the outcome of the war.
5 – U3.2.4 Describe the significance of the Treaty of Paris (establishment of the United States and its boundaries). (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169, C)

U3.3 Creating New Government(s) and a New Constitution
Explain some of the challenges faced by the new nation under the Articles of Confederation, and analyze the
development of the Constitution as a new plan for governing.
5 – U3.3.1 Describe the powers of the national government and state governments under the Articles of Confederation. (C)
5 – U3.3.2 Give examples of problems the country faced under the Articles of Confederation (e.g., lack of national army, competing currencies, reliance on state governments for money). (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169, C)
5 – U3.3.3 Explain why the Constitutional Convention was convened and why the Constitution was written.(C)
5 – U3.3.4 Describe the issues over representation and slavery the Framers faced at the ConstitutionalConvention and how they were addressed in the Constitution (Great Compromise, Three-Fifths Compromise). (National Geography Standard 9, p. 160, C)
5 – U3.3.5 Give reasons why the Framers wanted to limit the power of government (e.g., fear of a strong executive, representative government, importance of individual rights). (C)
5 – U3.3.6 Describe the principle of federalism and how it is expressed through the sharing and distribution of power as stated in the Constitution (e.g., enumerated and reserved powers). (C)
5 – U3.3.7 Describe the concern that some people had about individual rights and why the inclusion of a Bill of Rights was needed for ratification. (C)
5 – U3.3.8 Describe the rights found in the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Facilitator Page: Confirmation and Reminder Emails

Confirmation Letter

Greetings ##PARTICIPANTNAME##,

This confirmation is for the following session:
##EVENTTITLE##
##EVENTTIME##
##EVENTLOCALTIME## (your time)

Please read below for technical and teacher information.


Technical Contacts (##EQUIPMENTCONTACT##):


According to our records, you will be participating with this equipment:

##EQUIPMENTNAME## with IP ##EQUIPMENTIP##
If this is incorrect, please let me know.


Test Call


The test call window for this event is on [date and time]
Your dial in number for the event and test call is:
. If you cannot dial this, we can probably call you or you can call just the IP. Please discuss further by emailing janine.lim@berrienresa.org.

If you have problems during the connection or test call, please call me


Assist Your Teacher


If possible, please help your teacher understand the distance learning room setup and the options available for presentation (document camera, computer hook up, mic locations, etc.). Find out if they need/want computer access during the research portion of the event. Note that it is highly unlikely that People Plus Content / H.239 / DuoVideo will work for this conference.


Connection Day


The connection will be open for you to dial in 15 minutes before the start of the program. Please dial in as soon as possible. We aim to have
every site connected by 10 minutes before the start of the program.


Teacher Information (##PARTICIPANTNAME##):


CRITICAL: If you haven’t already done so, please email me with the history mystery your class will present. One way to do this is to have students
vote for top choices and submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the
selected mystery.

Detailed information about this project can be found at:
http://historyquest5.wikispaces.com/
Note especially the questions your students should answer in their presentation.

The teacher preparation materials can be found at:
http://historyquest5.wikispaces.com/


Video Taped Presentations


Please do NOT prepare a taped presentation. Taped presentations are very difficult to understand when sent over compressed video. Please present LIVE!


Video Releases


The event may be recorded by Berrien RESA for improvement of the project, as well as illustrations to post on the web for next year’s project. In addition, many schools tape the program they participate in. Because of this, please make sure the students who appear on camera have permission from their parents/guardian. (Some schools have a video/photograph release form built into their registration process. Here’s a Word file sample you can use.
http://historyquest8.wikispaces.com/file/view/releaseform.doc
Please leave the credit at the bottom of the form.)

If you have any questions, you may call me or email me. Thank you.

Janine

HistoryQuest5 Presentation and Test Call Reminders

HistoryQuest5 Teachers and Contacts:
A few reminders and items I want to emphasize as you’re preparing your presentations!

Test Calls
The test call windows are this week: [date & times here]
The IP is 2. If you can’t do the extension, try just the IP or we can plan for Berrien RESA to call you.
I’ll be taking only 3 sites at a time for testing, so if you get a busy signal, try again in a few minutes.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to present with the computer, please be ready to test the computer connection.
If you have trouble during the test or the program, call ####.

Countries
If you haven’t yet sent me the mystery you are presenting, please do so as soon as possible. One way to choose is to have students vote for top choices & submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the selected mystery. We do this to make sure there are no duplicate presentations.

Make It Hard Enough!
We want to make sure the students really challenge each other. Make sure that you can’t just type a clue in Google and get the answer. Some classes get really creative in writing clues that have to be solved before you can find the answer. For example: http://vcoutonalim.org/2007/04/20/math-problem-clues-for-mysteryquest-usa/
Lately in these programs we’ve had much more a challenge getting hard enough clues. So challenge each other!

Two part clues work better, where you have to solve one part to know the full clue to find the answer (i.e. he won a medal at the battle of what is now Jersey City). Also do not give full dates for events. It should take the other class at least 10 minutes to solve the history mystery.

Clearly Present Clues
Remember that the goal of your presentation is to clearly communicate the clues to the other classes, not to confuse them so they can’t guess. Here are some ways we highly recommend:

*Avoid taped presentations, as the quality of the tape gets degraded when sent over videoconferencing. Plus students will be better prepared to answer questions if their presentation is fresh in their mind.

*Prepare visuals to reinforce proper names and figures that are important to locating your mystery. Visuals for clues can be a “life saver” if we have technical difficulties or audio problems. Use this worksheet to assist your students in making clear posters or PPT slides:
http://mysteryquest.wikispaces.com/file/view/PosterHandout.pdf

*Have students practice speaking slowly, loudly, and clearly! Practice those communication skills!

*Have students read clues off notecards instead of paper so that we don’t have the noise of paper rustling.

Double Check your Clues
Check to make sure you are presenting all the required clues and the correct number from each section:
http://historyquest5.wikispaces.com/Required+Clues

Double check your visuals and make sure what the other class should write down is the LARGEST.

Revealing the Answer
Please prepare a visual for revealing the mystery you presented.

Relax!
I know it can be crazy getting prepared and ready for this event, but relax! Enjoy the process. It should be fun for everyone involved and a great learning experience too!

As always, you can email me or call if you have any questions or want to discuss your presentation or the event.

Janine

HistoryQuest5 Countdown (sent Friday before event)

Subject: HistoryQuest5 [war] [date & time]
Greetings HistoryQuest5 Teachers & Contacts!

Just a few more days til our HistoryQuest5 event! In anticipation of that, here are a few notes for:
[date]: [start & end time in all represented time zones]

Number of Groups
We have [xxx] classes participating, so you should divide your
students into [xxx] groups for researching the other presentations.

Connections
Please connect at least 15 minutes early so we can start on time.
IP: [connection info here]
If you have trouble, call me

Order of Presentations
Classes are assigned a number by when they sign up. The assigned
order is:
Classroom 1 Teacher:
Classroom 2 Teacher:
Classroom 3 Teacher:
Classroom 4 Teacher:
Classroom 5 Teacher:
Classroom 6 Teacher:

Things to Bring
*All materials needed for your presentation.
*Research notes from the presentation in case another school has specific questions about your country or city.
*Any print materials for students to use in their research (books, maps, globes, etc.).
*If desired, arrange for the use of computers/Internet connection during the research portion of the event.
*Blank sheets for note taking.

Note Taking
Plan to have all students take notes on all presentations. This will help keep them involved, give them practice taking notes, and groups could help each other during in the research process if needed.

Computers
If you are using computers for this event, please do the following:
1. Do not allow students to use them during the note-taking. They should be practicing taking notes and being a good listening audience. Remember it’s possible you are the school the presenting school is looking at when they present. So be an attentive audience!

2. During the research portion, only use computers as a last resort. This event is about map skills, group skills, research skills. Some clues could give the answer quickly in Google and we’d rather have students really work to use maps etc. to discover the answer.

I’m excited about this wonderful learning opportunity for our students and look forward to a great event!

Janine

Post Project / Evaluation Reminder

Thank you for participating in HistoryQuest this week. Please take a moment to complete the evaluation so that we can continue to improve the program.

Thank you for your feedback and we hope you can join us for another HistoryQuest in the future!

Janine

Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.

Goods and Services Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my websites and blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Goods and Services

Description: Students present goods and services-themed interaction to practice and exhibit their understanding of goods and services / producers & consumers. 

Agenda:
Five minutes introduction from each class.
Ten minutes presentation/interaction led by each class. (See preparation for ideas.)
Five minutes Q & A.

How To Create Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

Preparation

Kindergarten Ideas

Goods and Services Guessing
A class can present a skit, poster, song, etc. that involves various goods and services. The other classes will identify which elements of the presentation are goods and which are services.

Show You Know!
A class can present various props that represent goods and services. As the first class presents each prop the other class will clap if the prop represents a good or stomp if it represents a service.

Costume Connection
A class can wear costumes that represent various services. The other class will guess which service they represent and identify goods that are connected with each service. (For example, an auto mechanic fixes cars-service, he uses goods to fix them-tools, doctor visits patients-service, but prescribes medication-goods)

Mad-Libs
One class will call on other classes for goods and services to complete the mad-lib. and then read the completed mad-lib for a fun story.

Story Time
Before the conference one class will read a story such as My Town, by William Wegman or Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, and identify goods and services in the story. The students will then write a short story such as the ones they’ve read to present during the conference. During the conference, the students will read their story to the other class. Students in the other class will then identify the goods and services in the story.

1st Grade

Adapt these ideas to a focus on the consumer or the producer of the good or service.

2nd Grade

Charades or Costumes: Act out a business providing a good or service to the local community. The partner class identifies the business.

Community Production: Present one or more goods or services created in your community. Describe the natural, human, and capital resources needed to create it and where the resources come from.

Community Specialization: Create posters, skits or visuals to show trading and specialization from your community. (Use examples to show that people cannot produce everything they want (specialization) and depend on trade with others to meet their wants.)

Standards

Michigan Curriculum:
E1 Market Economy
Use fundamental principles and concepts of economics to understand economic activity in a market economy.
Kindergarten: E1.0.2 Distinguish between goods and services.

1st grade: E1.0.1 Distinguish between producers and consumers of goods and services.

2nd grade:

  • E1.0.3 Describe how businesses in the local community meet economic wants of consumers. (i.e. providing goods and services).
  • E1.0.4 Describe the natural, human, and capital resources needed for production of a good or service in a community
  • E1.0.5 Use examples to show that people cannot produce everything they want (specialization) and depend on trade with others to meet their wants.

Evaluation

This project used this Google Spreadsheet evaluation form for feedback.

Confirmation Letter Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc [coordinator]
Subject: Goods & Services VC Project Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Goods & Services Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to increase student understanding of goods and services in different communities.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Introductions
The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

Preparation
Preparation materials and resources are online:

Format
For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
5-10 min. One class presents
5-10 min. The other class presents.
5-10 min. Ask each other questions.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.

  • Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.
  • Techs: We’re trying to do test calls for this event on January 22. Please email with the best time to test.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

Janine

Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.

Eco-Conversations Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Girl’s hands holding globe — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Eco-Conversations

Project Description: Middle and high school students connect to discuss current environmental issues and their impact locally. Students present their research and the local perspectives and then discuss the issues with the partner class. See the Resources section for potential topics.

Teacher Quote: My students absolutely LOVED IT. You know they really liked it when they are telling other teachers and students about it!!! Talking to another country is by far the best VC out there!! I would talk to another country any time it was available! -Karen Ennesser, Dowagiac Middle School

Blog Report: Carbon Emissions

VC Agenda:

  • Introductions
  • Both class present
  • Question & answer time / discuss the implications / differences

How To Create Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.

Preparation

Preparation Steps
  1. Talk to your partner teacher via phone or email and negotiate the details.
  2. Have students list prior knowledge on the topic.
  3. Explore the topic by using the websites and resources listed for that topic and/or supplementing with your own activities & resources.
  4. Students prepare a presentation to explain the issue from their perspective(s) and how the issue affects their community. This presentation is then shared with the partner class. Divide the students into groups and involve as many students as possible (see page 36 in this booklet). Use these Tips for Posters to help you prepare any visuals. Possible groups include:
    • Background science knowledge
    • Analysis of scientific method’s use
    • Environmental perspectives
    • Economic perspectives
    • Local perspectives
    • Recommended actions / solutions
  5. Discuss and process together in the videoconference what you learned. What conclusions did you reach together? Which issues are still unresolved?
  6. After the videoconference, compare conclusions to listed prior knowledge.
  7. You may also wish to have the students prepare questions for each other.

Resources

Note: I am not maintaining this list of resources. It is here for reference and archive only.

Teachers should have agreed on a topic.
Use the resources and activities listed to explore the issues and prepare a presentation.
If you want to contribute other resources or topics, click “join” above to request access to this web site so you can edit it too.
For a plethora of green resources, visit Edutopia’s Go Green Database.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Climate Change

Warming Oceans

Fresh Water

Water Bottles

Invasive Species

Evaluation

This project used this Google Spreadsheet evaluation form for feedback.

Facilitator Confirmation Letter

Email Confirmation Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc [coordinator]
Subject: Eco-Conversations [topic] Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Eco-Conversations Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to present and hear different perspectives on environmental issues.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Introductions
The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

Preparation
Preparation materials and resources are online:

Format
For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
15 min. One class presents
15 min. The other class presents.
10 min. Ask each other questions.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.

  • Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.
  • Techs: We’re trying to do test calls for this event on November 23. Please email with the best time to test.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

Janine

Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.

Collaboration 411: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my websites and blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Note: This wiki was a collection of projects with contact and scheduling information. I’m keeping just the lesson plans and videoconference agendas, for archiving and ideas.


Turkey Talk

Classroom Preparation:
This project is modeled after Monster Match. Each class will create a turkey, describe it, send the description to the partner classes, and then make each other’s turkeys. During the videoconference we will see how well they match.

For more information, see the from Monster Match, realizing of course that we’re doing this with TURKEYS not monsters.

Turkey Talk Approved Materials: crayons, markers, pipe cleaners, tape, googly eyes, construction paper, glue, newspaper, shoe boxes, balloons, cups, bulletin board paper, paper plates, yarn.

Videoconference Agenda:
Welcome and Introductions

  1. Classroom A zooms in on their ORIGINAL turkey.
  2. Classroom B zooms in on the second turkey they created.
  3. Classroom A identifies similarities and differences.
  4. REPEAT switching roles.
  5. Classroom B zooms in on their ORIGINAL turkey.
  6. Classroom A zooms in on the second turkey they created.
  7. Classroom B identifies similarities and differences.
  8. Closing: Big round of applause for both groups!

Michigan Native American Tribes

Classroom Preparation:

In our class, the students are each making a poster on a Michigan Native American tribe and are gathering information on the history of the trip. We want to have our class present, and your class to present what you are learning about the tribes also. The students can ask each other questions as well.

Videoconference Agenda:

5 min. Introductions by both classes (tell a little about your school & area)
15-30 min. Presentations by each class. It may be helpful to rotate between the two classes doing a small presentation at a time.
10-15 min. Q&A time.


4th 5th Cinco de Mayo Holiday Traditions Bilingual

Classroom Preparation:
Each class will share holiday traditions for Cinco de Mayo.

The Michigan students are in first year of Spanish studies. This is mostly meant to be a “culture discussion” with teacher assistance with translation where needed.
The Texas/Florida students are in a bilingual classroom.

Videoconference Agenda:
5 min. Introductions of both schools. Tell about your community and show a map.
5 min. One class shares about holiday traditions.
5 min. The other class shares about holiday traditions.
5 min. Q&A between the students.


High School Culinary Arts Collaboration

Preparation
Each class should prepare a food demonstration for the other class. Some ideas include: how to prepare a food, knife cuts, how to fabricate a chicken and then prepare it; demonstrate cuts and make a soup or stir fry. Classes should also prepare some content and community related questions for each other.

VC Agenda
5 min. Introductions (a map, a little about your class and town, a interesting food/nutrition fact about your town)
30 min. Each class does a demonstration for the other class. Try to engage the other class in the demonstration by asking questions etc.
15 min. Share what you’re studying/learning. Ask each other questions, etc.


Snowman Swap

Classroom Preparation:
This project is modeled after Monster Mayhem. Each class will create a snowman , describe it, send the description to the partner class. Then, the class will try to create the other class’ snowman based on the written instructions.

Note: This would be a great project to reinforce geometry terms, measurement, and descriptive writing.

For more information, see the instructions from Monster Mayhem, realizing of course that we’re doing this with Snowmen, not monsters.

Videoconference Agenda:
Welcome and Introductions

  1. Classroom A zooms in on their ORIGINAL snowman.
  2. Classroom B zooms in on the second snowman they created.
  3. Classroom A identifies similarities and differences.
  4. REPEAT switching roles.
  5. Classroom B zooms in on their ORIGINAL snowman.
  6. Classroom A zooms in on the second snowman they created.
  7. Classroom B identifies similarities and differences.
  8. Closing: Big round of applause for both groups!

Day of the Dead Cultural Exchange

Videoconference Agenda:
5 min.: Welcome and introductions. Each class shares their location and brief introductions about their school.
30 – 40 min. Two presentations, one from each class, with a few minutes in between each to set up. (Participants can decide the order of presentations.)
5 min.: Debriefing and to say good bye. (Amount of time spent on each activity can be changed to fit the scheduling need of participants.)


Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.

Critter Connections: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Critter Connections Videoconference

Description: K-2 Students present or lead an interaction on the study of animals. Both classes share what they are learning about animals.

2011 Dates: May 11-12.

Videoconference Agenda:
Five minutes introduction from each class.
5-10 minutes presentation/interaction led by each class. (See Preparation for ideas.)
5 minutes: Compare and contrast the animals presented by both classes.
Five minutes Q & A.

How To Create Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

Preparation

Animal Presentation
Share a presentation about an animal your class is learning about:

Information should include:

  1. Habitat
  2. Movement
  3. Description
  4. What they eat
  5. Song or poem about the critter

Presentation should include:

  • a visual – preferably student drawing
  • sound – what sound does the critter make?
  • motion – act out how the animal moves

Animal Riddles
Lead the interaction with the other class.
Have several riddles prepared for the other class (negotiate the number with your partner class).
Include a drawing of the animal to reveal the answer.

Animal Alphabet
Share a celebration of animals and the alphabet with your partner class.
Share a picture of an animal that starts with the letter. Have the other class repeat after you the letter, the sound it makes, and the name of the animal.

Animal Habitats
Teach the partner class the habitats you are learning (i.e. forests, deserts, wetlands, and grasslands). Then share pictures of animals in each habitat and have the partner class guess the habitat and animal name.
Sample supporting lesson plan.

Animal Colors and Shapes
Remind the partner class of the different shapes: triangles, circles, squares, rhomboids. Then share pictures of animals and have the partner class identify the shapes in the animal.

and/or Draw pictures of animals in their habitat to share on posters (see How To) or your document camera. Have the partner class identify the color(s) of the animal and the color of the habitat. Does it camouflage? Have the partner class say camouflage if it does.
Sample supporting lesson plan.

Your Ideas
What other ideas do you have? Share what you’re learning about animals, and figure out a way to engage the other class in guessing or interacting some way with your presentation.

Facilitator Confirmation Email Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc [coordinator]
Subject: Critter Connections VC Project Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Critter Connections Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to increase student understanding of animals.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

Introductions
The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

Preparation
Preparation materials and resources are online:

Format
For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
Five minutes introduction from each class. (prepare a map for each other)
5-10 minutes presentation/interaction led by each class. (See the Preparation page for ideas.)
5 minutes: Compare and contrast the animals presented by both classes.
Five minutes Q & A.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.

  • Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.
  • Techs: Please sign up for a test call time here:

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

Janine

Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.