Shields students push learning beyond classroom walls

Mystery Skype challenging classes
Students in Kristin Gray's fifth-grade class question a class of South Carolina students during a spirited round of Mystery Number Skype. SOURCE SUBMITTED
October 21, 2013

The students of Shields Elementary in Kristin Gray’s and Amanda Archambault’s fifth-grade classes are using technology to extend learning beyond the four classroom walls.

Through the power of Twitter, educators across the country are connecting their classes through an activity called Mystery Skype. A twist on the original activity, Mystery Number Skype is played by two classrooms, in which each classroom chooses a number for the other classroom to guess.

On Oct. 4, Gray’s class and the partnering class from Wellford, S.C., took turns asking a series of yes-or-no questions that included key vocabulary from math class: factor, multiple, prime, composite, etc., in an effort to reason their way to a mystery number. After the mathematical questioning, each class guessed the correct number and virtually cheered for each other. To add to the mystery, Gray’s students asked their South Carolina classmates geographical questions to guess their location in the world.

Mystery Skype promotes collaborative, challenge-based learning with a global community of learners while promoting critical thinking, listening and speaking skills. The students say they cannot wait for their next Mystery Skype!

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