What a great opportunity we had today–we did our first Mystery Skype!
Because of the connections I’ve made on Twitter, I’ve been exposed to many new things that seem right up our alley, and Mystery Skype was one of them. The basic idea is that you Skype with another class–somewhere in the world–only you don’t know where they are (ok, well I knew where they were, but the kiddos did not)! You ask each other yes or no questions that help you narrow in on the location of the other class.
We waited patiently until 10:35 when they called–Ms. Venosdale’s 6th grade class. We answered the call, with nervous but excited feelings in our stomachs. I had already set it up so that they would lead, since we’d never done it before, and so they asked the first question. They asked, “Are you near a major body of water?” Our answer, of course, was yes–the Mississippi river is just a hop, skip and a jump to our east. Our first question was (we hoped) a good one, too–“It’s 10:35 here, is it the same time where you are?” We had been having a conversation about time zones just before we answered the call, and so they thought this one would help narrow down (and so eliminate) much of the world if their answer was yes. And it was!
I wish I had grabbed the list of all the questions, because we kept one, and I wish that we had a picture to share–but we didn’t take one. We had coordinated “jobs” before we got started: some were charge of the map, some were in charge of writing down what we learned from our new friends, some were in charge of writing down the questions we each asked (so that we could look at them for ideas for the next time), someone was in charge of asking the questions and the rest of us worked to synthesize the clues and figure out what to ask next. It was really cool how a room full of about 20 people could all be involved in the same conversation in such different ways.
In the end, we found out that our new found friends were actually calling us from very close by in Missouri! Hillsboro, actually. That was surprising to them, too, because they’re used to chatting with people from much farther away!
All in all, we had a great time, met some new “friends” and figured out that we need to brush up on our Missouri geography a bit. 🙂 We already have our next Mystery Skype on the calendar for next Friday and are VERY EXCITED for it! I’m interested to see the way their questions change and improve each time, and for what it will be like when we talk to someone from a place where we’ve never been. It’ll be very cool to learn what life is like in that other next of the woods!
Until then–have you every been a part of Mystery Skype? Who did you “meet?” What suggestions do you have for us as we try again with another class? Tell us your story–we’d love to hear from you!
Great post! My 5th grade class just recently participated in our 1st Mystery Skype and we have two more sessions scheduled for February. You can read about our 1st Skype here: http://www.5thandfabulous.blogspot.com/2013/01/our-first-mystery-skype.html Hope your next Mystery Skype goes well! 🙂
Your post was FABULOUS, and I loved all the details you wrote about (that I wish now I would have mentioned!). I left you a comment on your post. Maybe we could Mystery Skype soon!
Reblogged this on IamOkema and commented:
In education & thinking about skyping, this elementary school teacher shares her classroom’s recent experience.
Thanks for the share! This was an exciting day for us!
I have been facilitating Mystery Skype calls in my buildings. Each one is a unique experience and a very worthwhile activity! http://www.mrskneller.com/1/post/2013/01/mystery-skype.html
Thanks for sharing your Mystery Skype post! I love to read how other classes do it, so we can add some of that smart thinking into our Skype experiences. I’d love to connect with your class via Skype if you’re interested!
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Jen . . . you are an amazing teacher!! You realize that, right?!?! Although I have not been reading all of these amazing posts, I love hearing about the cool things that you do in your classroom to enrich the lives of your students. Thank you for sharing!
Wow, Thanks, Rach! Miss you, lady and hope you’re well. How are things? 🙂
Hello! You asked how things are. 🙂 Things are hard. Things are good. Things are adventurous. Things are funny. Things are challenging. Things are always new. Things stretch my brain. And . . . how are things with you?
We’re doing well! Staying busy and having fun. I will have to visit your blog more often to stay up-to-date on the hard, adventurous, good, funny, new and challenging time you’re having. I don’t remember if I told you before you left how proud I am that you took on this challenge! You are definitely at inspiration, lady. And on another note, can we schedule *you* for a Mystery Skype? 🙂
Jen . . . thank you for your kind words too. And, absolutely we can do a Mystery Skype! How does it work though, if they see me, they’ll know where I am. Anyway, just email me and we can figure out the details! I am excited! 🙂
Well, we could just talk to you then! Do you think that everyone knows where you went? Wasn’t sure about that…either way–we should totally hook up!
Sure. I can usually do mornings best. What about this Friday or next Monday or Tuesday? And, maybe everyone doesn’t know where I am . . . so let’s give it a shot! 🙂
Well…we’re not at school on Friday or Monday, so Tuesday it is! I’m not sure of the time difference. Throw me some times that you are free. Or let me know and I’ll suggest some. We are flexible. 🙂
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