There’s No Place Like Nome
I am super excited this week! My friend Colleen Johnson is a 3rd grade teacher in Nome, Alaska who is working on her Masters Degree in Educational Technology. She and I have lots more in common and have been e-pen-pals for a while. We somehow have managed to coordinate our schedules after all this time to have our classes Skype together. We will be connecting with her class on Thursday.
We are doing several things in preparation for our conversation. Students were given the chance to come up with a question for a student from Mrs. Johnson’s class. Meanwhile, her students are currently busy coming up with questions for us, as well. We will have our answers ready before we connect, and then each student will get a chance to speak.
We are watching some videos about Nome, AK this week as part of our morning routine. We are reading the book Balto and talking about the famous life-saving relay which eventually became the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Coming up in our Reading Street lessons is a story about whales being trapped in the ice in Alaska. It is similar to the movie Big Miracle, which students might have seen. There is also a paired selection about an oil tanker that gets frozen in the ice off the coast and needs assistance from an ice breaker. Later this month, we will be studying 5 different Native American tribes, including the Inupiaq. Our background building exercises coupled with our Skype session should provide us a rich learning experience.
I think students in both classes will find out they have lots in common, even though they live in very different areas. At the same time, I hope that learning about the differences we experience in each area will be an educational experience for them.
Just a reminder that students should be reading (or being read to) 20 minutes each night. After the holidays, we will begin book talks, which require students to read a new book each month or so. Additionally, students are required to practice math facts (we will be starting multiplication next week!!) for 5 minutes per night. We have LOTS of ways for students to do that. If you need suggestions, let me know.
Check out our iPaddling Pages – there are a few new entries!!