THE RAMBLINGS OF
On occasion teachers facilitate a lesson so fun and impactful we must stop and take the time to share the experience with our peers. We recently had a couple of those lessons this last week. We want to share one in particular.
We had heard, and read, about “musical chairs writing”. This is where the students in a classroom sit in a circle and begin a story on paper using the same prompt. Once the music starts they leave the paper and walk around until it stops and start writing on the story they picked up in that chair. This goes on several times and a strange and varied tale begins to develop under the eye of several different authors.
We wanted to add our Virtual Team Teaching to this activity. We teleconferenced and performed the musical chairs at the same time while the kids watched the other class through the camera and on the projection screen. We added one new chair and one computer to both of our circles. this chair alternated. During one round, it was for Mr. Lamb’s class, during the next it was Ms. Thomas’ class.
The alternation occurred in the form of an iCloud Pages document. During the student’s “turn”, they had the opportunity to write on a collaborative iCloud Pages document. This in turn became a creative work of two entirely different schools. So not only were there 49 different stories being created in their perspective classrooms, there was a document/story being created by two different schools. That is collaboration on a different level.
We highly recommend you try this in your classroom. Partner up with a teacher in another school OR with another teacher in the same school. The idea is to connect them using video and an iCloud document.
Set up the two classrooms for musical chairs. Connect the classrooms using teleconferencing / FaceTime. Each student has a composition book , or if you have the resources, an iPad to write in. Both rooms have one laptop or desktop computer signed into a shared collaborative Pages document. The classes need to alternate who writes on the cloud document in turns.
The students in both schools/classrooms begin to write based on a prompt until music starts. They will get up and leave the paper/iPad writing there. They stop at a different chair when the music stops and one lucky student stops at the collaborative document. Continue to do this several times to see outstanding work on many levels.