Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mystery Hangouts in Ms. Rosenberg's 5th Grade Class - A Student Perspective

Back in the late fall Ms. Annie Rosenberg (@OMinEdu) approached me with an idea-she wanted to host a Mystery Skype or Mystery Google Hangout (GHO) with her 5th grade students. Through careful planning and facilitation, Ms. Rosenberg's 5th graders have had several Mystery GHOs across the US and one with an international school in Ghana! I have enjoyed working with this class and was excited when some of the students wrote about their experience. Below is the article they wrote about their year of Mystery GHOs and a video they created with their amazing teacher. 

Mystery Hangouts
By: Jackie, Megan, Parmida and Sid
What is a Mystery Hangout?
      A mystery hangout is where two classes in the world connect using Google Hangout. Each class guesses where the other class is by asking questions. They can only use yes or no questions. If we had time we would figure out the city of the other class we are doing a Mystery Google Hangout with.
      After we finish our actual hangout, we talk about what we did well and what places we can improve upon. We also share facts about our state, town and school.

Jobs That We Have
      For this activity, we have eight kinds of jobs. There are greeters, recorders, think tanks, runners, inquirers and lastly the reporters.
      First the greeters, the people who go on the camera, greet the other class and fill in jokes on research time. The recorders are people who write down the questions that have been asked by the inquirers and the people in the other class.
      Think tanks use the clues to find where the other class is. The runners are the people who transport the ideas and the plans from think tanks to inquirers to greeters. The inquirers are people who uses facts about the place we think the other class is in and make yes or no questions out of them, they also answer the other classes questions.
      Finally, the reporters take videos, pictures and jot notes about what is happening. One of the reporters also tweet on Twitter about the mystery hangout on our class account.   
Places We Have Traveled To
We’ve had eight mystery hangouts so far:
  • Plainsboro, New Jersey, USA
  • Burke, Virginia, USA
  • Kingwood, Texas, USA
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Limerick, Maine, USA
  • Kansas City, Missouri, USA
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
  • Ghana, Africa

What Can You Learn From Mystery Hangouts
    Mystery hangouts help us with the 21st century competencies and encourage us to be effective communicators and information literate researchers. Through communicating with other classes, we learn to speak clearly and with good respect, and we strengthen our ability to be collaborative team members by helping our groups and working together to find out the other classes’ locations. We also learn how to be literate researchers by using the internet and other sources to solve problems and researching.
      Mystery hangouts are a great way to learn about states and countries, and teach us to be diverse and learn about different people, places etc. Finding places on the map enhance our skills to locate states and countries, as well as identifying landmarks like the Mississippi river and the four main oceans.
      We are able to grow as students and we can open our eyes to learn about interesting places in the United States or even the whole WORLD using. This is what we call globalization, or becoming a globally aware citizen, and it will definitely help us in the future!

A big thanks  to Mrs. Lindes and Ms. Rosenberg for teaching and helping and practicing with us to make this possible.

Here is a video our class created highlighting our Mystery GHO experience.

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