Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Traditions through Skype

Last year, I had the idea of having our school do a Christmas card exchange via Skype with other classes around the world. Unfortunately, I started the program too close to Christmas and it was not successful. This year, I started the registrations in late October. I was blown away by the response to my lesson that was posted on the Microsoft Educator Community. I had almost 100 classes register to participate from all over the world!

Since I had more time to develop the lesson, I included a more rounded experience for all. What started as a project for our students grew too large from such an overwhelming response, that I opened it up to other schools in the US. I created a form that allowed me to pair up classes in similar grades (one from the US and the partner from a non-US school). Classes were tasked with creating physical Christmas cards and then sent to their partner school. Once the classes received the cards, they would have a Skype call to discuss what Christmas traditions they have in their respective countries. I had no idea what to expect from this project but thought it worthwhile for our students (and subsequently) and other students to learn about how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas or even another end of the year holiday. Below are some of the wonderful social media reactions from some of our participants.

I am delighted that not only did students learn about holiday traditions but some have formed long term partnerships due to this lesson. Please follow the hashtag #skypetraditions to see more exchanges with students.

A video posted by Tuckerton Elementary School (@tes_nj) on

A video posted by Tuckerton Elementary School (@tes_nj) on