Today, myself and another teacher, Mrs. Steinen, performed a Mystery Skype session. It was our first time participating in this type of lesson and I have to say, I was pleased with our students and learned a lot.
First, Mrs. Steinen's class is a 6th grade Social Studies class and we connected with a Ms. Janine Craine's @jcrainrue 5th grade class in Iowa. Prior to our session, I introduced video conference calls and proper classroom etiquette during a video call. When this was completed, I went over classroom jobs and responsibilities and assigned jobs accordingly.
The students worked together and shared documents using their Google Apps for Education account. Some of the documents that I shared were:
- Mystery Location Q/A Sheet
- Outline Map of the United States
- Blog Document
- Classroom Jobs Presentation
- Introduce video conference calls and classroom etiquette
In addition, students created and shared their own documents with other students who had the same jobs.
All of the students in the class was assigned a job and had to stay focused on the task at hand, which was, to try to guess what state the mystery class was from by asking 20 questions that had yes/no answers. The students shared information with each other to try to ask more informative questions. Students stayed focused on their job responsibilities and finally narrowed down the mystery location. I am happy to say, our class guessed the mystery location in 7 questions. Our mystery class, was experienced with Mystery Skype and guessed our location in 6 questions.
During the session, the students were engaged and were interactive with their peers and teachers. They were not afraid to ask questions, and share facts with the mystery classroom. They were respectful, polite and helpful to each other. They learned that Iowa has no mountains, is in the central time zone, (which is 1 hour behind the eastern time zone), west of the Mississippi River, they have many farms and harvest corn, and the nickname of the state is the Hawkeye State. Most importantly, they made a global connection with another class in the United States and are eager do it this again.