I had the privilege of meeting Jonathan So this Summer in China. We both took part in the Global Educational Summit amongst other teachers from China, Canada, Australia and Canada. Jonathan works as a 6th grade teacher in Ontario Canada and I am a fourth grade teacher in Espoo Finland. We decided to bring our kids together. The theme for this years GEC is “Our school -our neighbors school” and it gives us tons of possibilities working with the kids. From past experience we decided that working together is easier after they had met first. And that’s how it started…
Because of the time difference we decided that I would have night school with my children and Jonathan would have his kids in school normally. My kids got super excited about spending the night in school and had a long wait from August to November 19th. We also had to have the fire department come in and check the premises so that they were safe for sleeping over.
My kids first had a normal day at school and then returned to school at 17.00. The level of excitement was touchable 🙂 At 18.00 we used Skype to contact Jonathan’s class. We had some technical problems in my class -of course- and ended up with 18 children around an iPad trying to see and hear. In the beginning the kids had to try to figure out where the other class was located at. Asking questions like: “Do you speak French?”, “Do you play ice hockey?”, “Is it Germany?” they quite quickly figured out where the other class was at. Then everyone introduced themselves by telling their name and an interest of theirs. A lot of giggling and laughing and excitement and 1 hour later we were done.
“Skype was fun although it was a bit long. But we could talk to other people almost at the other side of the world.”
“The Skype was very nice. We had a mystery class we were talking to but we found out were they live. It was my best day ever with my class.”
Jonathan’s kids went to French class and we went to computer class. I had created an Edmodo group for us before hand. Jonathan had sent us a video of their school. A video the kids had filmed earlier that day. My class watched it and commented and after posted lots of question about school life in Canada. Now we are eagerly waiting for responses.
After Edmodo we took a head start on Hour of Code. code.org has launched two new coding hour -exercise. One with Minecraft and the other with Star Wars. My class worked intently with which ever one they chose to do.
The night was long and one needs food. Pizza at school was a treat that we seldom have.
And beds than? We slept in the gym. Boys on one half and girls on the other. We made our beds ready and found the gym mattresses handy 🙂
“The pizza was excellent! Unfortunately ate mine very fast. it is very nice to get pizza at night school.”
“You could sleep very well in the gym.”
“I didn’t sleep well but I still loved the night school!”
“Sleeping was booring.”
At 22.00 we were ready for what turned up to be the most exciting thing about night school: A game of police and robbers. The 2 police had flashlights and the robbers each had a reflector of some sort. The school was totally dark and you had permission to run down the dark corridors. Even though we extend the time twice it ended up too soon. I had 19 very sweaty kids on my hands.
“My favorite thing was police and robbers game.”
“I loved the police and robbers game!”
Everyone quieted down quickly and even the teacher slept quite well. In the morning we had a breakfast prepared by our kitchen and got ready to go home as the others were just arriving to school.
“The night school was super duper!”
“The whole night school was super exciting and fun!”
Collaboration with Jonathan and his class has now officially started. Stay tuned to what we do next.