Looking to duplicate the success of last year’s Monster Match initiative, Fairley Elementary School teacher Barb Mosny hopped on board again this year with new students and equally positive results.
The program, a collaboration with Oswego County BOCES’ Distance Learning Network, pairs local classes with one outside of the county, and each class creates a monster using materials from a list provided.
After constructing their monster, the class writes a description of it and sends the description to their partner class via email. Each class then re-creates the monster based on the written description, and the project culminates with a videoconference connecting the two classes.
“I think it’s cool,” said Fairley second-grader Chloe Davis as she looked over the monster she and her peers created. “I got to staple the body with the plates.”
Although making the monster was a key piece of the program, the videoconference component is the biggest part, as it provides a unique opportunity for the classes to compare their re-created monsters with the original monster. They share similarities, differences and discuss how the monster descriptions were written and interpreted.
“We had such a great time doing this last year that I had to sign up again,” Mosny said.
On Friday, her second-graders connected with students at Marion Elementary School in Marion, N.Y.
“Each school really learns a lot. The kids learn practical skills and it gets them involved and communicating with others,” Mosny said.
The other big takeaway from the project was that students learned how to listen, ask questions and follow directions.
“I can’t believe how much (the monsters) looked alike,” Mosny said as she and her students looked at the screen where the Marion students showcased their creations. “The students did a great job writing and following the instructions.”
Mosny’s classroom wasn’t the only Fairley class to get in on the action.
On Friday afternoon, Stephanie Griffin’s second-graders connected with first-grade students at the Lima Primary School.
With such positive results of the initial Monster Match, Mosny said she is hoping to have the distance learning initiative become a mainstay in her classroom, and noted that she is looking forward to making additional connections throughout the year.