Let's take this show on the road and use PBWiki to plan out the unit: http://virtualbugs.pbwiki.com/

You should have access to it because I added you as Writers on the wiki.

Please let me know if you have trouble accessing the editor!


We were starting to get quite a bit of information on this page. I left the most recent communication from Kathy and replied to it below. Then I summarized the information and am starting to list some possible strategies for collaborating via interactive video conference. I hope that's ok!



What do you think will be the most helpful, should I bring things I have pertaining to these themes...books, paperwork, whatever??? What time do you want to meet? I need my beauty sleep so don't make it too early :)


Hey, Kathy!

Yes, bring all of the above. Let's meet around 9AM via video conference. How does that sound?


Here is the information I've gathered so far, based on what you have asked for in your previous responses on this page:

The areas of focus you suggested:
  • Ponds (sink/float, living/non-living, seasons of the year)
  • Frogs and Frog Life Cycles
  • Plants
  • Insects (Monarch Butterflies - perhaps create butterfly hats; possible VLE to Mexico or Texas to ask an expert about monarch butterflies; Kathy has a PowerPoint from an earlier project that could come in handy)
  • Zoo Animals
  • Maple Syrup Operation

Possible uses for Interactive Video Conferencing:
  • Point-to-Point connections from one classroom to another (i.e., Leslie's idea for meetings once per month on current classroom events; students can share work among classes...)
  • Possible VLE on "Awesome Amphibians": http://cilc.org/search/content-provider-program.aspx?id=1117 (I want to look in to this one to see if it is worthwhile. It hasn't been evaluated in the CILC database yet...

Project Ideas:

Collaborative IVC Project on Frogs and Pond Life:

1. Get together via IVC (interactive video conference) to introduce students to each other from cooperating classes

2. Read a book or books about pond life, frogs, and other plants and animals to your classes (could be done by video conference or it could be done between times). I found this book as an example, but you probably have something appropriate in your classroom or school library: NEAR ONE CATTAIL

3. In your individual classes, work with the students to learn facts about the frog life cycle, frog facts, pond facts, pond plant facts, etc. Separate students into expert groups who will use electronic resources, such as interactive websites (that I'll send to you) so they can learn about their assigned topics.

Then perhaps (if there is space left in their schedule, I have to check...) you could participate in a Virtual Learning Experience called Awesome Amphibians. We can investigate whether or not the Awesome Amphibians VLE could be a multi-point connection or if it has to be done individually.

I found directions for making a frog puppet (and other animal puppets) out of brown paper bags and construction paper. I wondered if each group could make their own puppets and use them to help them present the information they will share (i.e., all students in the frog facts group make a frog puppet).

Each group will report out during a second IVC and would present at least one sentence about their topic during the second IVC.

How does this look from a Pre-K perspective ? I taught second grade and am wondering if this is too difficult for the little ones, so please feel free to change what I've done here and make it fit with your curriculum. These are ideas I wanted to throw out there to see what you thought about them... I thought this one m


Ideas for a Maple Syrup Operation Collaboration:

Introductory IVC; have students talk about what they already know about Maple Syrup. You could read a book to both classes during the video conference about Maple Sugar gathering. Here is one I found on Amazon: Maple Syrup Season. [This may be a good place to tie in a study about seasons in your own classroom...]

Either during this video conference, or during a second IVC, you can brainstorm questions they would like to learn about maple syrup: its history, who discovered it, its uses, how it is made, etc. Using chart paper, the classes will develop a letter to a Maple Syrup Operation written by one or both of the teachers and snail mail it to them on behalf of both classes (I found a few with contact information that I will share with you). Students could draw pictures of maple leaves, maple trees, and other

We can contact them in advance that they can expect a letter from your classes and ask if they would be willing to respond. We can investigate whether one of the Maple Syrup contacts might be able to meet with us via video conference. This is a fairly low prep IVC and could be done fairly quickly.


Do you have any feedback so far? We can discuss this more on the 9th if that would be easier :-)

Let me know what you think!

Hi Cheryl,

Wow, have you been busy! I really like the ideas you have come up with and yes, they would work with my age group. I might even throw in a song or two for my kids to sing to their collaborative friends for this project! I will seriously give some thought to this over the weekend when I have time to think straight but you have created a great starting point...thank you so much!

I have been looking at websites to see if I could find any age appropriate videos focusing on ponds, I want to create another PowerPoint for my kids which I will make interactive, using the SmartBoard to present it. So far I haven't found a lot, BrainPop Jr. has a video on habitats that might work but I would have to teach to the main points as it is a little over their heads.

I am getting really excited about these projects, I am always willing to try new things and I love a good challenge :) I will send you any information I find between now and next week.

Is the Lee Richardson Zoo doing DLC yet? I think that was the zoo that I checked out in January and they were not doing any DL, pending the hiring of a new DL coordinator. I am pretty sure it was this zoo, although I checked a lot of sources then and could be confusing it with another zoo :)


BTW...you said let's meet via video conference at 9:00, where exactly are we meeting?

Hey there, Kathy!

I talked with Rene this afternoon and he said that the plan is to meet on the 9th at BOCES Building 11 from 9am - 2pm.

The Lee Richardson Zoo is the content provider for the Awesome Amphibians VLE I mentioned above. I went to the http://cilc.org site and typed in Lee Richardson Zoo and they had a bunch of other VLEs listed there if you'd like to take a look at that.

I'll keep brainstorming until Wednesday and see if I can come up with more ideas. I'll send you the sites I've gathered on Monday (I'm off today, or I'd have sent them today - sorry about that!).

Have a great weekend!

Hi Cheryl,

I thought we were meeting together at the BOCES building, that is why I was confused when you mentioned video conferencing. I have a sub for the day, the school van (oh boy) and will have all of my resources ready to go. I can't wait to finally meet you!

I did some thinking and decided that the use of electronic devices could become a problem. I haven't used computers much with my children, I just can't physically work with 17- 4 yr. olds in that capacity. And we do not get lab time. We focus mostly on using the SmartBoard, but if we can find some sites that are of value I could always use the SB to present them and work from there.

I think I was in contact with the Richardson Zoo back in January, I talked to them about doing a DL session with my kids but we couldn't get anything scheduled because of school breaks, etc. Maybe this time we can come up with something we could actually do.

I will be truning 50 on Sunday so I am not too sure how great my weekend will be :( I don't remember being this distraught when I turned 40!!! See you next week.