Chatting across the USA is a video conferencing project my 3rd grade students participated in during the spring of 2010. Students in each state researched important and interesting information about their state then taught other 3rd graders across the country using Skype or Google Chat. Information learned about each state was recorded in a 'Chatting Across the USA' journal.
This is a meaningful and exciting way to learn about our country. Student interest remained high throughout the entire project. Retention of information was so much better than if students had only read about each state. During the 20 - 30 minute conferences, students also had the opportunity to ask about the things kids this age are really interested in: food, sports and games! They learned that though there is a lot of diversity in our country, there are even more commonalities.
May 7th issue of Weekly Reader
Jon McCarthy of the San Jose Sharks tells the students the importance of hard work to reach your dreams.
Students from Maine, Hawaii, N.J., Arizona and S.D. work together to create a video for First Lady Obama!
A 2nd opportunity to meet with the amazing
Mrs. Barbara Bush!
If you are an elementary teacher and would like to collaborate with other classrooms around the USA, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know your full name, school name and school email address. I will post your information on the participant spreadsheet at the bottom of this site. If unable to view spreadsheet, please try this link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AkINy8leIcTMdEJtcUpCZ2dfU1NSZXIweXNyLUZseGc&hl=en&single=true&gid=0&output=html
This year we've added a community piece to our project. If you'd like to share your community, please go to https://kindredcommunities.wikispaces.com/
Happy Chatting, Cherrie MacInnes
Check out our video conference with Barbara Bush: http://mediamaine.org/ChattingAcrossUSA/
Conferencing with the Governor and First Lady in 2010
The Journey Continues...
I was recently asked if I was still participating in Chatting Across the USA because I haven't updated this site in such a long time. Our project continues to grow and change each year! My 3rd graders continue to teach classrooms around our country about the state of Maine. Classrooms from grades 1 - 5 are teaching us about their states, communities, schools and classrooms. No matter what the age, students are teaching other students and great learning is occurring.
We are now using video conferencing to communicate with political leaders and other successful people who have shared their journeys and reiterated the importance of working hard in school. I am also trying to make global connections. I have found this to be more of a challenge so please share your stories of global connections and video conferencing projects. This type of teacher networking has allowed for ongoing and current professional development!
Senator Collins enjoys meeting Brewer's 3rd graders and learning about their project!
Skyping with 3rd graders in Hawaii
Students in Maine were amazed that we were at the end of our school day and students in Hawaii were just beginning theirs!