Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PBL Skype Project

I am very grateful to work with many terrific teachers that inspire me each day.

One of them is a fellow first grade teacher across the district.  She is technology guru and is always excited to try new things.  I am hoping that she starts a blog someday so I can "borrow" all of her ideas!

She wanted to try a PBL project together.  This was all her idea and I am grateful to join the ride!  Of course I have started "geeking" out and have offered tidbits along the way.  :)  This is true collaboration and thank goodness for the use of Google docs to make this all work well!  I will show you some of the items but unfortunately the items that we worked on together I cannot share since it was both of our brains put together.  :)

I have always wanted to try PBL.  I search and search and none of the ideas online really work well for first grade.  I was so thankful to my peer to reach out and ask me to join in hers.

First things first we both had to setup a Skype Account. 

Then we received this URGENT message a few Fridays ago:

Then we called each other with only an audio call.  (I have a video of this but I can't black out all of their little faces or my super "woke up late" hairdo.)  We quickly brainstormed some questions we could ask.  We asked them and made a messy note of it on the board.  After we organized our thoughts on these posters:

lol.  I had my projector on and the kids could see her last name was Simmons.  One of my kids said, "My parents watch Gene Simmons Family Jewels.  So maybe they are related to them."  So one of our questions was, "Are you related to Gene Simmons."  lol.  Talk about trying to keep a straight face!  Oh I LOVE my job!  :)
We heard the mystery caller say this word so we thought that it deserved a separate poster.
These are our predictions.  We discussed later what inference/ fact led to this prediction.  I should have written them down.
We discussed what they were inferring.  Boys and girls because they heard voices that sounded like them .  Then they knew that a group of boys and girls is usually a class.  Then they thought that they head a deeper voice and a girl voice.  They were assuming that they were adults therefore must be teachers that they heard.
The next week I had students work in partners and think about a good question to ask.  I had students debate between their questions and which would give more information.  Partners places their post-it-note question on this poster.  Then we voted on the top 5 questions to ask the following Friday.

The following Friday we asked our questions and then at the end were able to turn on the camera and see who was Skyping us.  We waved and said "hi" as a class. 

Then behind the scenes the teacher and I assigned pen pal partners for our class.  The next week we wrote letters to each other telling them about ourselves.  She has 28 kiddos so some of my kiddos had to have 2 pen pals. 

Here is a picture of one of my kiddos with his letters.  They made me laugh so much!  He dictated his thoughts for me to write.  Most of my other students wrote their own.

I made cut and glue fill in the name address labels.  I taught students where to place each one and we discussed what each item meant and the purpose for it on each letter.  Students glued them on the outside of the envelope and put their letter inside.  We also received letters from our buddies.  My students loved reading these.  After they read them they had to think of a question to ask their buddy based upon what information they learned by reading the letters. 

Then the students sat down and had a one-on-one google hangout chat with their buddy.  They just said, "hi" and asked their question.  Our pen pals each have their own computer as a part of a grant that their teacher wrote last year.  Unfortunately we don't so we just shared one computer.

The buddies will actually have a classroom buddy as well and they will form a team.  After Spring Break they will work in their teams on some projects.  They received a hint by watching these videos:

Then we discussed and looked at google images for what an architect uses to store all of their work.  Then I set out Pringles Cans, paper, a label that I had made, string, glue and tape out.  I told students that they were going to work in their class partners to make their own blueprint carrying cases.
They first had collaborate and decide on a color and design.  We have been working on group work all year so their compromises were awesome.  "Well you can pick the color and I get to pick what we draw."

OOPS.  I forgot to take a photo of the finished product before I left school.  I am going in tomorrow to help rearrange the classroom and set up our very own architect corner.  :)  I love this font- they are little graph paper lettering.  :)  I found it on TPT.  The background is a chevron corkboard.  Super cute too!  :) 


I also am going to buy a mailbox this weekend to setup for our pen pal mail delivery.  I wanted to buy a child sized drafting table sooooo bad but they are expensive!  So I'll just have to save up my money to maybe buy one next year.  :(  However I found some compasses and protractors at the dollar store to help set up the architect corner.  :)  I need a super crafty person to help me make my "vision."  :)

After break we will start our projects and keep our "plans" in our blueprint carrying cases. 

I am super excited to see how it all works out.  I'm crossing my fingers that it does!  :)

I am hilariously trying the Twitter thing-  I can see myself updating it more than the blog but for now it is just double dipping! 
I love the idea of just writing a sentence and quickly posting a pic.  Super easy!  :-)  please write yours in the comments so I can have more friends to follow and to inspire me.  :-)



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