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Yes... Teaching all content areas to seventh graders has made life interesting... and busy! They're a hard group to engage and entertain...
You know, we've never talked about video conferencing. To my knowledge, we do not have a camera for the computer in our classroom. However, I'm certain someone does... I mulled over the idea in my mind of having my seventh grade class video chat with my fifth grade class from last semester, discussing junior high, the transition, advice, etc. I haven't gotten that far in my quest, honestly! So, to answer your question-- I don't know!
I enjoyed your photo on the English Teachers Ning about a rock as a toy. We just started a unit on rocks and minerals, focusing on exactly what your students were doing - classifying the three types of rocks. Perhaps we could have a video conference with some rock samples collected in our local environments (we are in coastal Connecticut), and have the students describe (and show) the rocks so the other group can use the information to classify them. Let me know what you think.
Could you tell me more about what a "virtual volunteer" is and how that plays out in Nairobi, Kenya? I am very intrigued.
Let me start by saying thank you for responding to my request for possibly starting a Darja Club. I am aware that service project can take a life of their own and there seems to be a shortage of great cause to support. Having said that I think we may have come across a strange coincidence, because it sounds like the school you are working with may be very near Daraja.
I found this from Jason's blog:
we approach the Turning Point Trust compound. Turning Point is Daraja’s first sister school. This is also the compound where the dream germinated and grew.
The founders of Turning Point, Jon and Jo Parson, literally began serving porridge to the children of Mashimoni for whom food was an unreliable luxury at best. It has since grown into an incredibly successful, bustling experiment in social assistance. Children from several tribes, including Kenya’s two largest and most adversarial, the Kikuyu and Luo, attend class together, eat at least two solid meals each day together, and perhaps most importantly get to play together. I am not sure if I can stress just how important play is for the children of Kibera. Life can get so desperate in the slums that many of Kibera’s youth...
As you can see he too will be working with Kikuyu tribe. I am not too sure ho close it all is, but we may overlap.
Anyway, I am following you on Twitter and whether or not this works out, I hope we can be in touch and perhaps work togther this year.
Besides running my online class, Intrepid Classroom, I will be teaching K-5 ESL. Best of luck and let's see if we can't maybe make something happen.
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