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Turlington ES is Live in New Jersey

Photo of TES students Turlington Elementary (TES) students were excited to meet and learn with their counterparts on the east coast all from the comfort of their home school. As part of a class lesson, fourth-graders experienced a live video chat lesson and exchange with Heywood Avenue Elementary in New Jersey (NJ). Students were eager to learn about each other’s state symbols and schools. TES had all eight fourth-grade classes participate and Heywood Avenue had two classes.

“We think it is important for our students to get to experience what other fourth grade classrooms look like and that they get the opportunity to learn facts about states other than our own in this interactive way. Connecting with other students in this way makes it very real and exciting, not just an idea we’re discussing.” Crystal Vinson said.

The idea for the live video chat happened when TES Instructional Technologist Melissa Summerford registered the school on the website Classroom Bridges that connects schools globally. Once selected, Summerford invited Vinson and fellow fourth-grade teacher Kayla Mills to meet with the NJ teachers to plan out a lesson. They decided the lesson should be about state symbols because it was already a part of their curriculum during freedom week.

“We hope that the students learned what a video chat is and that it is live,” Vinson said. “They learned the importance of being respectful during a presentation and of symbols that represent different states.”

On the day of the video chat, all TES fourth-grade classes gathered to participate. Each student had the opportunity to reflect on what they learned about NJ. Most students were interested in learning about the state’s weather and how the school compared to TES. One student from each homeroom class was selected to present about TES. Names were drawn out of a hat to select the presenters who were: Walker West, Peyton Johnson, Teagan Leared, Bezawit Gemechu, Andrew Vandruff, and Sawyer Buckley. Each student took a turn presenting on the history of Texas.