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I am sharing about a fun experience in my classroom last week: An Interview through FaceTime. This is not a brand new idea - one I am sure we all heard of before - but I thought I would share some ideas, and it might give you some ideas for your classroom.
My students were doing a class inquiry project. We call it a "passion project" because we are studying one of our passions. In this study, we were studying turtles. The students did research on our topic. Some of our favorite websites are:
National Geographic Kids
Part of the research process was contacting an expert. We used FaceTime through an iPad in our classroom and projected it on our Smartboard to Interview an Exotic Veterinarian from an Animal Hospital. The children sat in partners. One partner asked the question (brainstormed in advance to today) and the other partner took notes on the answer. The questions were numbered so the students asked their question when I gave them the signal for the next one. The veterinarian showed the students her very own pet tortoise. They got to watch him eat and see his habitat. The students also asked questions about the vet's job and other animals. It was a 50 minute learning experience and something my students will always remember! At the end of the day, the students pulled their learning together and made a report of their learning to share with others in a Gami. (To find out more about Tellagami, link over to here.)
My students wrote her thank you notes using Pages for word processing on their iPads.
Other ideas that I have for using FaceTime with my students is to connect with authors of our mentor texts or favorite books they read. We always talk about how important it is for students to have an audience for their writing. They could share a writing piece with another class/cause through FaceTime. I also think students could discuss favorite books with students from other classes/schools. When our school was going through the state testing (PARCC Testing), our K-2 classrooms were supporting our 3-5 classrooms. One of the ways we supported them was by sending them brain breaks. Of course then you either need to get the video online or send a smaller clip. Students could lead another class in a brain break live through FaceTime. Finally, another way to use FaceTime in your classroom is to have students "teach" a skill or topic to another class via FaceTime.
What ideas do you have for using FaceTime or Skype in your classroom? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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