so it does not degenerate into “Is it this state?” over and
over. Watch them hone their geography skills as they use
landmarks, weather information, and cardinal directions
to figure it out.
Watch the excitement build as they eliminate states or
countries and crescendo as they make their guess. Help
them get back on track if needed, particularly if their
guess was incorrect.
Keep going until both classrooms have figured it out,
and then be ready to ask other questions to get to know
Once the call is complete, give students time to reflect on
what worked and what needs to be reworked. Again, step
back and let them discuss. You can offer gentle suggestions,
but the students should make the ultimate decisions.
And, finally, wait for that moment when that one child
looks at you and asks, “When can we do it again?”
Geography taught, history covered, global collaboration
created, communication skills honed, all in one Skype call.
—Pernille Ripp is a fifth grade teacher at West Middleton Elementary
School in Middleton, Wisconsin, USA. She is passionate about helping
students find their voices. Read her blog at www.mrspripp.blogspot.com.