In my classroom we have moved past the 3 Rs and on to a new educational letter. We're all about the 3 Cs. My students are; connecting, collaborating, and creating. Of course, we still; write, read, and do math but using the three Cs. This year, it hasn't been a complete day unless we have done at least one of the 3 Cs. Our journey with the 3 Cs has been a exciting one that must be shared.
Last year, my 3 Cs journey began with myself personally becoming more connected (through Twitter). Soon this jumped over to my classroom as we study different communities so connecting to other classes in North America and around the world fit nicely. Being connected in our classroom means we use Social Media to interact and learn with students around the world. We tweet our learning with our twitter buddies from classes in North America and the world. Our tweet topics include; what we are learning in class, questions about topics we are learning about, books we are reading including our Global Read Aloud novel and many more. We comment on other class blogs and receive comments from students in other classes. This year we started using Instagram to share our learning and have received comments and questions on our pictures.
Dana Ariss was one of the first people I connected with on Twitter and it has led to our classes connecting on various topics. We have recently between tweeting up a storm with the Dana Ariss's (@danaariss) class, the @gr34bears, about the book we are both reading. This wonderful book is called Wendell the World's Worst Wizard by J.C. Spencer. Both Dana and I discovered this book because we were both following one of the authors of the book-John Spencer. John (@edrethink) was promoting his book on twitter and we both fell in love with the book. We both started reading it to our classes at the same time and starting connecting with tweets on it. Our connecting with the book could have stopped there but it didn't. John and his co-author (his wife) created a twitter account for the main character in the book (@wendellwizard). They are doing an awesome job answer the questions and comments we tweet to Wendell. Last week we even had a twitter chat with the @gr34bears and @wendellwizard. It was fun for all parties involved! Before Christmas break, John even Skyped with my class to answer our questions about writing the book. It was the best Skype session I've had my class participate in. All of these connections have, also, led to awesome creating.
This year we have been creating awesome writing pieces and projects related to our read alouds. The
creativeness of John Spencer and Wendell from his chapter book have inspired us to be even more creative with our Wizard Spells and our spoof of "What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis. Without twitter and these connections my students would not have had the chance to do these awesome projects. Our creating around Wendell the World's Worst Wizard led to the final C, collaboration, with the @gr34bears.
This past month we have started collaborating beyond the classroom level. My students are now not just collaborating in classroom based groups but are collaborating with Dana's class to come up with a design using the items that Wendell found on his trips to the DUMP (see Wendell the World's Worst Wizard by J.C. Spencer for more information on the DUMP). Our students used google docs to come up with a plan together as well as Skyped to make final decisions.February brings a few new collaborations with the @gr34bears. We are both studying countries as part of our social studies and so we decided to join forces for more fun and creative collaborating. Our students are partnered up to use a google doc to research a given country. For some reason, when we were planning this project I was reminded of the TV show "Where in the World Carmen San Diego?" and thought it would be neat to use google docs and have our classes re-write the song based on the countries we are studying. My other idea was to have students work with their other class partner to come up with questions about their country and include them in our "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" live game show in a Skype session. Dana willingly agreed to jump into this adventure and we both can't wait for the research to begin. We have more collaborations planned for later on. I hope, for as long as we are both teaching similar grade levels, that we continue to have our students collaborate and learn together.
The 3 Cs in our classroom have brought learning to a new level. I can't imagine our room without them. What is the new letter in your classroom? I hope it's C or something inspiring!