McConnell Elementary students wish to reach out to the world through iEARN online collaborations. Our students participate in the Learning Circles Computer Chronicles and My Hero Learning Circles in the fall and spring sessions. It is always amazing to watch them grow and succeed. Our students improve their reading, writing, technology, and social studies skills through the Learning Circles projects. This year we are trying to integrate using Skype to conference with their peers around the globe. To date they have used Skype to communicate with our Early Peoples Symbols Coordinator, Abdelaziz Rhazzali in Morocco and soon will be collaborating with students from Canada.
This fall in collaboration with our librarian, Mrs. McCready, our students in grades 3-5 approximately 300 students, did library research using encyclopedias and biographies as well as the Internet to conduct research about Tennessee Heroes. Using the criteria that the person had to have been born in Tennessee or lived in Tennessee and demonstrated values of a Hero not just a celebrity, students took notes on their graphic organizers and cited sources used during their research. Once their research was completed, they had to create a PowerPoint presentation about their Hero using a template. The information was then submitted in narrative format to the My Hero site. This project was in collaboration with the My Hero Learning Circle. Students worked for approximately 3-4 weeks and were so excited to come to the library and computer lab to complete their work and share with others. Some of the final projects can be found on this link.
The photo attached represents a collaboration with Abdelaziz Rhazzali who visited McConnell Elementary in August to share the Early Peoples Symbols Project with students. In addition, he shared his Moroccan culture. Students learned how to write and speak some Arabic too. We would like to encourage all teachers to Go Global and use the technology to engage students in real-life projects.