"It is today we must create the world of the future." Eleanor RooseveltI did something in class today that doesn't happen very often. I had EVERY SINGLE KID engaged. As educators, we all strive to differentiate our lesson so that it caters to all of our students. Yes, it is hard to do. Too often we can't reach that one student...no matter what we do or try, they will not respond to the activity.
Today, one of my fourth grade classes did a Mystery Skype with @DCraig42. I had EVERY SINGLE KID engaged. It was so fun sitting back, taking it all in and watching the kids do their duties.....and doing them well! I got the idea from my PLN on Twitter and thought it would be fun to let the kids take charge of their own learning. I did a little research and ran across this blog by @pernilleripp. I set up a Google Document with my kids to assign the roles that Mrs. Ripp wrote about in the article. We discussed the roles together and I even modeled what they would be doing.
I will have to admit that I was a little leery going in. I am somewhat of a control freak. I cringe at the thought of the unexpected in the classroom. "What happens if" was a question that constantly ran through my mind. After our Skype today, I was extremely proud of our 4th graders! Every single student did their job to perfection! Our Inquirers worked so well with my Mapmakers and Logical Reasoners to come up with the next closed-ended question! Our runners should be awarded a medal for their multitasking abilities!
If you have not tried a Mystery Skype, jump in! What a great interdisciplinary lesson for your students. Need to tie in that geography piece that you have been missing? A Mystery Skype will take care of that for you! There are a myriad of possibilities when it comes to Mystery Skypes!
Where do you start? There are tons of resources out on the net. Here are few that I tend to rely on:
4thchat Mystery Skype
Mystery State/Country Skyping
Cybrary Man's Awesome Skype Page <- Jerry's Twitter handle--> @cybraryman1
Highlights from our Mystery Skype