collaboration, community, connections

A Connection is Made

It all started with a question, a small idea really, and one word “Community.” Take two sets of children, happy in school, each faced with their own busy lives, full plates, and small victories. What if we turned them loose with a camera, with their own creativity and asked them to show off their community? That is exactly what my friend and inspiration Matt and I did for our classes. What started as just a way to connect two seemingly very different classes morphed into something bigger than just a simple hello via Skype. Instead our students were asked to really think about what sets their community apart from others, and how do you showcase that to others that may have no idea where you are?

What followed after that initial conversation of idea was a lot of hard work and so much enthusiasm. Neither one of us have the luxury to suspend curriculum but had to find a way to fit it in, not just because it was fun, but because it was worthwhile. So I told the kids cautiously, would they get excited as well or would they roll their eyes at yet another harebrained Mrs. Ripp idea? Their excited chatter told me once again this was going to be great.

For 3 weeks the kids worked both in class and outside of class creating their video.  They knew that Matt’s students spoke Spanish so they wanted our sometimes shy Spanish speaking students to take a leadership role in each group.  I was also told that i was not needed, after all, they had Google translate if they needed to figure something out and they knew how to shoot the video.  Donations came in for the care package we were sending out their with some real Wisconsin stuff, and then finally; the last shot was filmed, the movie pieced together, the package dropped off.  

So I am excited to present “Our Community” – a video inspired, created, and carefully edited by the students in my classroom for our friends in Mr. Foteah’s class.  In the end it wasn’t really about the video, it was about the community we shared making it and the community we reached out to.

3 thoughts on “A Connection is Made”

  1. My own children just loved watching this, and are now full of questions about making videos and posting them so they can be shared with others. Success I think!

  2. Awesome. I especially love the incorporation of Spanish into the video. I like the idea of making a video like that to introduce and then letting conversation and questions stem from if. It seems more natural. What do you see follow up activities being?

  3. Mine is the class collaborating with Pernille's, and I must say what we are doing together has taken on a life of its own. I'm so excited to get back into the classroom Wednesday so we can start preparing our gifts for our new Wisconsin friends. From there, we're going to find time to Skype the two classes together. I'm hoping it'll be special!

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