Today started with a message on my classroom Facebook account.
“Mrs. Neil, don’t forget your camera.”
That was 6:30am. My student wanted to make sure I brought my webcam to school today. She and her classmates were going to get a chance to skype with another classroom. She wanted to make sure I had the equipment to make it happen.
What they didn’t know was that Mr. Aion and I had chatted last night. We both decided we needed one day to get both classes ready to skype. They were disappointed, but they understood. Some still hadn’t decided on their topic. You see we are doing Genius Hour on Fridays in my classroom. The students haven’t quite yet figured it all out. Neither have I for that matter. But we enjoy working together. I did find this great prezi (http://prezi.com/ku3m-wy7rcen/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share) that explained it to my students. I did modify it a bit because we will not be blogging this year. (I’m just not ready for that yet, maybe next year.)
So, after the prezi, the students started their web mappings. I wanted them to give me 4-5 reasons why they were choosing the topic they chose. Some understood and did well. Some are still working on their webs. They were told that students without a completed web would not be a part of the skype classroom. There would be an alternative assignment (and location) for them.
Later that day, I was able to connect with Mr. Aion. I had about 10 minutes left in another class period. He was on planning. I had not been able to find someone to skype to verify the connections. I admit, I was excited as well. I wanted it to go smoothly. The kids in my class were VERY quiet in the beginning. Then they realized that my attention was not 100% on THEM. Slowly, they got a little noisier. But, all in all, the connection was strong and Mr. Aion and I felt confident the electronics will work well tomorrow.
There were a couple of students in the second class that will also be a part of the skype lesson tomorrow. I had them step in front of the camera and introduced them to Mr. Aion. They were a little nervous but I think they realized they could handle it.
I am excited about tomorrow. It feels like the first day of school. I only hope I can sleep tonight.