One of the best things about technology is how it brings the world to a classroom. Recently, Ms. Harrell’s and Mr. Moore’s third grade classes at Taylor Elementary had the opportunity to connect old school technology (pencils, paper, crayons, envelopes and stamps) with more up-to-date technology when they participated in the Holiday Card Exchange offered by Projects By Jen, a creative and global project opportunity hosted by Jen Wagner.
The classes signed up and exchanged holiday cards and basic information with twenty-nine other classrooms across the United States and throughout the world. Participants are asked to create unique holiday cards based on a theme (this year’s theme was GINGERBREAD) and complete a template with basic location and demographic information. The cards needed to be posted by December 9th in order to arrive before schools released for the winter break and holidays. Then the waiting began.
According to Ms. Harrell and Mr. Moore students were just as excited to create their cards and share about their class and school as they were to receive mail. The classes read their two or three cards that they received throughout December each day and identified locations on a map that was placed on a shared hallway bulletin board. The classes got cards from all over the United States, from two locations in Canada and from a U.S. military base in Germany!
Students will use the information that they received to create research projects on the various states and areas from which they got cards. Additionally they will use data such as the local average temperature for December to create authentic graphs and tables in their mathematics lessons. Participants also get a link to a shared, collaborative Google Slides presentation where they can upload an image of their card and see the multitude of cards from across the project.
Over 1,200 classrooms participated in the Holiday Card Exchange project this year! What a fabulous opportunity for these students to share a bit about Burleson and their community as well as reach out and connect with students from across the globe. If you would like to see the final results follow this link. Another way to check out this project is to search the hashtag #PBJHCE16.
In addition to connecting with almost 30 other classrooms, these students went above and beyond to connect with local organizations. They included holiday cards to the Burleson Police and Fire Departments, Alsbury Baptist Church, and the local animal shelter that Taylor Elementary supports.