Skype is such an amazing tool that just keeps getting better. Skype now has a group call feature that allows people to have multiple people on the line at the same time. We tried this as educators today with 3 classrooms and the Skyping Reading Tutor. What a great experience it was.
I found out that it was not only cold here in Wisconsin with a temperature of -15 degrees, but it was cold everywhere today. Todays classrooms included,
- Mr. Greenberg’s 2nd grade class in Bridgeport, CT
- Ms. Well’s 4th grade class in Kansas
- Ms. Kidd’s Kindergarten class in North Carolina
Connecticut won out as being the warmest place to be today. I was quite surprised. I guess they deserve it since they have been pummeled with snow lately. It was a balmy 25 degrees there today. Kansas had 1 degree and I forgot to ask the kids in North Carolina what the temperature was. They were in the middle of a 2 hour delay and had just arrived at school, 10:30 EST, due to the snow they had.
Today’s topic was snow. Usually when I skype with classrooms I show the pictures of the book that I am reading. However, when you are skyping with multiple classrooms you are unable to do a share screen. The week prior I read a non-fiction book about snow, but many of the words forced the reader to look at the pictures. So, I decided not to use that book again. Instead I used the book Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals.
This was definitely not a book that I would have picked out to read to 4th graders. The pictures have little kids in them and are geared for younger children. However, the words in this book I found to be very poetic (and poetry is definitely appropriate for 4th grade).
I found it really cool that the Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade students all enjoyed the book as much as I did. The 4th graders in Ms. Wells class had mentioned that it was a very relaxing book. We talked about how this might be the perfect book to put a younger brother or sister to sleep with.
The 2nd graders in CT said that the book sounded like where they live. I could relate to it as well living in Wisconsin and just having had a fresh layer of snow last week. And the Kindergartners just sat and enjoyed the whole experience.
While I was reading the story I made a connection with one part. When readers do this, it is called a text to self connection. The part of the text that I connected with was,
Three little snowflakes melt on my tongue. I eat them up. Yum! Yum! Yum!
I remembered how my 4 year old daughter was walking into school on Tuesday this week with her head up to the sky and her tongue hanging out catching snowflakes. I was able to focus on how this was a proper connection to make. Sometimes we can make connections that are actually distractions because they have nothing to do with the story, but this was a good connection because I could visualize the snowflakes melting and someone enjoying them in their tummy.
Take a look at our experience together and wherever you are, STAY WARM!!!