collaborative learning

Mystery Skype Connects Classrooms Across the U.S.

By Allison Sandler

Recently, I had my 5th graders Skype with a classroom in another State. The goal of the Skype session was for each class to use listening, speaking, and geography skills, to guess what State the class was in. Each team alternates asking yes/no questions, until students are able to guess the State. For example, my class might ask “Are you located East of the Mississippi River?” Students would then use a map to cross out states based on the other classes’ answer.

Mystery Skype is a powerful way for students to collaborate among their classmates, allowing them to reach out to students in other regions. This game has greatly improved the speaking and listening skills within my classroom.

When we consider collaborative activities within our schools, it is important to create opportunities for students to connect with students in other States. It allows them to meet academic standards, and to know students who come from different backgrounds and places. Mystery Skype can easily be used in any K-12 classroom!

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4 thoughts on “Mystery Skype Connects Classrooms Across the U.S.”

  1. That sounds like a fun activity for the kids. Are there audio issues inherent in the Skype connection? How is the Skype call being handled? Via video or phone? Do you work with the teacher in the other class first, to have questions/activities planned out? Another way you could elaborate on this collaborative project, is to assign digital pen pals. The students could email each other, and that would allow them to work on their reading and writing skills.

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    1. The biggest audio issues I have are getting my students to speak loudly enough so the other class can hear. I would LOVE to purchase a microphone to attach to the computer to help with this. We haven’t had any issues hearing the class on the other end because we use the Promethean board and speakers to connect.

      We make the Skype calls from my computer which is connected to our Promethean board. This makes it easy for students to see the other class and hear them.

      I do not have much contact with the other teacher ahead of time. It is more fun the less information we know about each other so we can play along with our students.

      I LOVE your idea of pen pals! I hope to implement this next year!

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      1. I wonder how much a simple microphone would cost? That might be something you could ask for on that Go Fund Me site…Not sure if that’s what it was called, but it’s a site where you propose something you need for your classroom, and people donate to support you.

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  2. Glad you liked the pen pal idea. When I was in grade school, I had 40 pen pals. My favorite one was Antonella Turigrossa from Italy. I’ve always wondered what became of her, and so I search for her online every once in a while. It was a lot of fun having a pen pal, especially foreign ones. We would send each other art/drawings/photos. Most of the letters were just sharing what our lives were like.

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