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Monday, April 9, 2012

A Digital Class Meeting

If you haven't visited ...

I found out about in a Scholastic Magazine years ago and it changed the way I communicate with my kids, especially during movie viewing. allows you to create digital chat rooms that your students can join without any password, sign-up, or e-mail address.  All they need is a link to the chat room you have created.  One of the best parts is you determine how long the chat room is accessible a day, a week, a month... you decide.

We most recently used the day before Spring Break when watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 

Watching and "chatting" about the movie while
Hagrid shows Harry the magic entrance to Diagon Alley.

Here's what I LOVE about 

#1- My students LOVE it.  They have never been more engaged in watching a video whether it is Harry Potter or a Science video.
#2- It allows us to chat about the film without chatting about the film. 
#3- When watching a longer video, like the Harry Potter film, it allows us to discuss the film in real-time, as opposed to taking notes and waiting  until 3 hours later to chat. 
#4- They log on and sign in independently (cue the gospel choir) because all they need is the link and their names.
#5- Internet based and FREE!
#6- Mini-lesson on appropriate use of social media (slang, abbreviations, spelling, content, etc.)
#7- Administrators don't think you are "just watching a movie".

Funny story about this year's viewing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  We had spent 3 months reading the novel, more than EVER before, to make sure that they were understanding the novel while mastering the literacy skills.  This darling blond in the picture above, who I ADORE, taps me on the shoulder to point out that one of my gems just posted a comment about who they think stole the sorcerer's stone.  You know, from the novel we already read, and discussed, and BEAT TO DEATH!  The most frustrating part, her theory was WRONG!  My little blond friend and I had a good chuckle at that, then I thanked the "teaching gods" that Spring Break started the next day. 

Pleasantly relaxed...for now, 

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