Mystery Skype is an exciting program where students from states all around the U.S. are connected to learn about the different states and regions of our beautiful country. Students receive (or place) a Skype call to another classroom, and the classes play a game similar to 20 questions, asking yes or no questions about the state's geography to try to figure out where they are. These are great exercises in teamwork, deductive reasoning, problem solving, and connected learning.
Of course to be able to answer questions about our own state, we began with some research on Virginia. Using their netbooks, students learned how to find and use several different kid-safe search engines that are bookmarked on our class Diigo page, and learned facts about Virginia's geography, history, landmarks, and famous people. Did you know that EIGHT United States presidents were born in Virginia?
This past week we had our first Mystery Skype call with Mrs. Diaz's 5th grade class in California. During the call we had a team of students analyzing maps, a team determining our next question, a team answering questions, and a team keeping track of information on the front board. Both classes had a great time, and were able to successfully guess each other's location! After both locations were revealed, the classes had a few minutes to chat and share special facts about their state and school. See the Mystery Skype Map at the bottom of the page where we'll keep track of everyone we've met!