Kindergarten is such a social place! I have been thinking a lot about this lately and the shift I have had in regards to my own thinking about what social means and the important role it plays in Kindergarten.
This past week a father of one of my students used Skype to connect with us from Paris, France. As I listened and watched the exchange of conversation I was really struck by how all of my students were not only engaged and interested, but were offering suggestions on “how to” make the picture clearer and connection better! So just by having this available, my students see and experience the value of connecting and what it means to receive a call, the idea of audience and how interesting it can be.
Later in the week we received a post card from Paris, France! This was so great of this father because my students were able to see a photograph, experience what a postcard is and then add it to our map in our classroom! I am also able to add to our virtual map, Google map too! This way my students have a variety of experiences and possibilities with how you can connect and communicate with others.
Later in the day we received another call from our Kindergarten friends in British Columbia, Canada. Ms. Garrioch and her students shared the metamorphisis of a frog! Her students took turns sharing information that they felt was important. Later in our conversation my students were able to ask questions. It was an amazing exchange of ideas and many learning connections were made.
My students are so use to tweeting and using Skype to connect and have conversations because it is part of our culture. Kindergarten is a very social place where we all talk all day! I am thinking about the different tools and social media that I can expose and experience with my students to support our conversations with others. I am always struck by the level of vocabulary my students are using and how flexible they have become and also their ability to problem solve. It is all so inspiring!
We connected with Ms. Garrioch’s class through the Kindergarten Around the World Project that I found out about on twitter. (Click here to read about.) So through this experience my students have made a meaningful connection with other students in another part of the world. We use twitter to “tweet” back and forth. Social Media has been a great way for my students to connect and have conversations with others. I look forward to using twitter again in the fall to re connect with old friends and meet new ones! What a wonderful, social year it has been in Kindergarten!