An Encouraging Connection

How simple it is to make connections and support the learning of children both in my own classroom and another in Bangkok. Last week Jeff Utecht at ISB, Bangkok,  sent out a couple of tweets inviting people to encourage a few of his fifth grade bloggers who were just learning how to blog and recording their instructions on constructing a science experiment exploring variables. It helps, maybe, that I had met Jeff while on holiday to Bangkok earlier this year, but that personal encounter isn’t really relevant to the connection.

I made a few comments on the grade five blogs and was particularly impressed with young Haley’s post. To encourage her and show her how the whole blogging thing might work, I decided to replicate her experiment in my own class the next day, using Haley’s procedural writing to help us with our instructions.

P9040004Setting up the experiment took five minutes of my time and my class took a couple of photos and quickly blogged about their results and I added a link to it for Haley through her blog comments so she could find our post the next day at school.

Haley learnt  about the power of blogging in a real context and my class made another connection and further cemented their own learning about variables that we had completed as part of our science fair earlier in the term. Following up on a question that Haley asked in a comment I was able to share a Voicethread we had made earlier on New Zealand currency. You can see how these things can grow.

Jeff later blogged about his own ideas for extending the collaboration…..

  • What if we share our data with the class in New Zealand?
  • I wonder if longitude and latitude is a variable we need to consider (Social Studies)
  • I wonder if we’ll get the same results? (Science)
  • How can we best represent our data for someone else to read? (Math, Science)
  • Why is writing clear instructions important? (Writing)

These connections don’t need to be huge, or time consuming, or hard. They just need a little time, a little energy and a buddy who wants to share and learn. The whole process isn’t in the least bit scary.

One thought on “An Encouraging Connection

  1. Thanks so much for the connection. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that blog post. From 5th graders going “That’s Cool!” to our Head of School, Principals, and anyone else that will listen to me tell the story of why we want our kids to be putting their writing out there.

    If your class is interested @nzchrissy and Mr. Armitage’s class have posted their results of the experiment on their blogs and are asking for feedback on what others notice about their data and what suggestions others would give them. You can access all the blogs via the . I agree the process isn’t scary it’s just taking the risk to do it! 🙂

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