Schools virtually collaborate on book talk

Recently, students from Desmond Megna’s and Jonathan Germer’s fifth-grade ELA classes at Moriches Elementary and Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary, respectively, had the opportunity to virtually meet their pen pals via Skype and participate in a joint reading and writing activity based on the book, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Students discussed what they learned; asked thought-provoking questions and finished the lesson by acting out scenes that they wrote related to the novel. The classes then shared with their counterparts the things that impressed them about each other’s presentations.

Kayla Gilmore, a student in Mr. Megna’s class, said of the lesson, “It was really fun to see how other kids handle the assignments that Mr. M gives us. Some of their thoughts were like ours but they also added things we hadn’t thought about.”

Avah Pitre from Mr. Germer’s class, added, “It was really cool that we were able to share our ideas and not have to wait a while to hear back.”

“Kids love to learn from other kids,” said Mr. Germer. “With Skype, Mr. Megna and I had the opportunity to take our students’ learning to a new and exciting level. They are already excited for the next shared Skype lesson.”

Mr. Megna added, “My students are very competitive and they loved how well Mr. Germer’s students presented; it has motivated them to want to improve upon what was an already impressive job.”

Pictured: Mr. Germer’s class at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School (foreground) pose via Skype with Mr. Megna’s class at Moriches Elementary School.

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