Second graders at Parish Elementary School made connections with second graders from across the U.S. and Canada during special videoconferences made possible through Oswego County BOCES’ Distance Learning Department as part of the Read Around the Planet.
Laurie Ouderkirk, OCB’s Distance Learning Coordinator, arranged for the celebration as part of the national reading week of February 27 – March 2. The videoconference connected PES with schools in Virginia, Michigan, and Alberta, Canada.
The classes connected prior to the videoconference to collaborate on a specific reading project so each class would be prepared for the time of sharing.
One class read the same books in preparation and then played a trivia sort of game where clues were given and the other school had to guess which book was being referenced.
Each class shared information about their community, and a question and answer time allowed plenty of interaction between the classes.
The PES students were surprised by how similar they were to the students from many miles away.
Stephanie Huebner’s class was surprised to discover that Laura Bridges’s class at Hidenwood Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, began every class with a special morning greeting.
Two students from Parish Elementary demonstrated their special “motorcycle” morning greeting they had used that day and the class from Virginia was so impressed that they said they would incorporate the greeting into one of their morning meetings in the near future.
The two classes each read four books and then took turns giving clues about a book while the other class guessed which book they were talking about.
After that, the schools shared information about their community with one another and information such as weather, geography, etc. for the area.
In spite of being so very different in many ways, the students from Edmonton in the Alberta province of Canada found similarities in what they like to do in their free time with second grade students at PES in Melissa Thomas’ reading class.
Living in a large urban city in northwestern Canada in comparison with small, rural Parish in Oswego County, the students from Edmonton were surprised to learn that Parish, New York, has no stop light or public transportation such as taxis, buses and light rail transit.
The students in Parish were surprised to learn that Oswego County receives far more snowfall on average than they receive much farther north in Edmonton.
Additional reading celebrations will be held throughout the week at Parish Elementary including guest readers and parents and family members are encouraged to attend a special reading celebration at the school on March 2 beginning at 6 p.m.