Mindy J. von Freymann
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  • Ken Greene
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About Me
I teach 7th grade Social Studies.

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At 4:51pm on October 18, 2009, Ken Greene said…
Hi Mindy. I just posted a vociethread project that features my 8th and 6th grade general music students. Take a look when you get a chance and, if you're interested, have your students add their comments - text, audio, or video. Voicethread is extremely easy to use and facilitates conversations across distances and time zones! This link will take you to our "Hello, world!" project: http://voicethread.com/#u406170.b674819.i3567443
This link will take you to Voicethread's tutorial video: http://voicethread.com/#u406170.b409.i848804
Hope to hear from you. Ken
At 7:14pm on October 12, 2009, Ken Greene said…
Hello Mindy. I am a middle school general music teacher in Memphis, TN, and new to Classroom 2.0. I found your page while browsing the members area. I am also working on developing global relationships for my students. I would like to invite you to participate in an online classroom/cultural exchange - your students and my students communicating with each other, sharing their work and developing that "global relationship." Please let me know if you would like to try this. It has proven to be a successful way for my students to develop their communication skills and strengthen their appreciation for other cultures - nationally and internationally. I have a sample Voicethread posted on my page if you want to have a look - this would be an easy way for our students to communicate IMMEDIATELY. You can also check out my students' projects on our music web page at http://web.me.com/knrgreene/RMSMusicMediaNetwork/Welcome.html. We created a film on diversity a few years ago, which you can watch at http://web.me.com/knrgreene/RMSMusicMediaNetwork/Diversity_Film.html. Hope to hear from you!
At 5:44pm on August 22, 2009, Jay Trevorrow said…
I hear you about being busy. No problem. I'll try to get some stuff outlined that you can respond to. Good luck with your start this week.
At 10:44am on August 11, 2009, Jay Trevorrow said…
When you get a moment, let me know what types of things (units, topics, books, film, etc) occupy your first 2-3 months.

Thanks
At 10:03am on August 11, 2009, Jay Trevorrow said…
I agree; this will be fun for us all and instructive. I myself have always learned something in a collaboration. Let me know when you get a Skype account (skype.com); my username is jgtrev which you can use to find me. I have my account open when I am online.

I will try to start getting a bit more specific in my next post.

Jay
At 2:11pm on August 10, 2009, Jay Trevorrow said…
Mindy,

I am back in town. The week on an island in Maine was terrific: beaches, bicycling, boating and goofing off! Summer is certainly my favorite anywhere, but Maine for me makes it special. So I have been doing some additional thinking about a collaborative project, and here is some additional grist for the mill.

In terms of timing, I think maybe Oct-December might be best as it will give us some time to start the year, tweak our planning and “prep” the kids for what we have in mind. Personally, I will have my class “work” this project along with other activities we have going on in that time with perhaps 1-2 day/evenings per week involving our exchange.

Your initial post about this idea intrigues me when you said, “My students see no diversity in our school system and are very limited as to the experiences they can have. I would love to find other middle school students to collaborate with my students shedding some light on diversity and other cultures.” If my class this year is anything like last year’s, we will have a very urban class (we’re in NY so that’s a given), varied ethnicities, much affluence (although a third of our students are scholarship students from all over NYC), differing languages spoken at home and 2-4 differing religions. We could offer some diversity there even as we are citizens of the same country! And…….you would offer us a diversity from your perspective, I suspect your kids would have much to pass on to us. (An aside/example – we have a K-5 woodworking class in our Manhattan school, and I was surprised when one little girl came up to me one day holding a tool which she proudly informed me was a saw! I was amused to think that a little girl likely raised in an 80th floor Manhattan apartment had probably never known of a saw before! Being from New York, has its own limitations, I have come to believe).

So our process might focus on our diverse experiences, but we might conclude with some thought on what we have in common – we are Americans after all?. Perhaps the headline might be - After Exploring Our Differences, We Find Much That We Have In Common. (we can work on the tasks and activities to elicit all of this: start with the shoebox of artifacts, do an intro video?, have our kids interview each other online and more of the stuff I mentioned earlier).

My class from September to Winter Break (Christmas) looks like this: we start in September with varied short stories ( I can make selections to see that we begin to hit some ideas we can share later on); we move on to Of Mice and Men (there may well be something there for us to develop around likenesses or differences in the idea of the American Dream) and finally we conclude with a collection of African American poetry, I Am the Darker Brother (much to like to any work we do around diversity).

Let me know what you think about this so far. Do you use Skype? We can actually talk about this as we proceed.
At 6:06am on August 10, 2009, Vincent Mespoulet said…
Hi Mindy, i'm very interested for a middle social studies collaboration. I teach history, geography and civics in Provence, France and i manage School Beyond the Walls, an international social network dedicated to Distance Collaboration. Our schoolyear will begin ont Sept. 1st
At 9:37am on August 7, 2009, Jay Trevorrow said…
Heading back to NY Sunday after a week vacation. I'll be back to you then. And we can start some planning. Plenty of patience here; I am sure I will benefit from the same on your end. BTW my school email is jtrevorrow@ecfs.org if you wish to move any of this off the wall.
At 2:21pm on July 23, 2009, Jay Trevorrow said…
Absolutely interested. Love to hear your thoughts.

Here are a couple of mine:
1- an intro activity, very low tech - our classes exchange shoe boxes each of with is filled with artifacts (stuff) which will help each class guess the location of the other class ( we might spend) a week at the start.

2-At that point we have either succeeded or been stumped - either way we then introduce ourselves as a class/school and individually (we can talk specifics as to how)

3-Then we pursue topics in an exchange (to be defined) which meet our needs (I am open to topics which meet your curricular needs as we are a very flexible place and I can find ways to merge any number of themes into our work).

Some other thoughts: a timeline? a conclusion? tools: audio, video, Skype, asynchronous online communication (I have done this in the past setting up a Moodle site that both classes have secure access to and we have used the site for a variety of work together), obstacles we need to confront? And more

We could group our kids online to work together on ideas, class presentations,an online debate, a side by side discussing our the political/social structures of our locales (my kids would learn a lot from your experience in rural America and we could share much as urbanites). We are also a place committed to diversity and would have a real interest in any ideas there.

So much meandering thinking here with my keyboard. I am open to your thoughts and we can work toward something together. Know again that we are very flexible.

BTW, I am a Kenyon College grad of long ago.

Jay
At 11:55pm on May 1, 2009, Anne Mirtschin said…
Hi Mindy and welcome to classroom2.0 I am intrigued by the nature of the course that you have just completed in web2.0. What did you cover? How long did it go for? It would have been a great introduction I am sure and there is so much more to be learnt from this site.
 
 
 

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