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Third Graders Become ePals with Students in Spain

Pictured are students in Amanda Jackson's class: Samuel Ivey, Audrey Belk, Trenton Blume, Calla Davis, Kevin Santiago-Cruz

In Amanda Jackson's third grade class at Waxhaw Elementary School, students are combining information they've learned across the curriculum with their technology skills to go global and become ePals with a classroom of students in Spain.

After extensively studying a friendly letter writing unit in Writer's Workshop and researching information on Spain in Social Studies, the students are eager to learn more.

To enrich their learning experience, Amanda Jackson recently set up a classroom account on ePals, an educationally based website that allows students the opportunity to "travel worldwide" with just a simple click of the mouse as they share emails with other students across the globe.

Once the classroom account was created, each child in Amanda Jackson's class received his or her own personal email address securely protected and only available through the use of the ePals site.

Amanda Jackson's students are using Waxhaw Elementary's new “Netbook Nook,” featuring a technology-rich classroom full of small laptop computers, to send and receive emails with a classroom of students in Spain.

Currently, the students are emailing back and forth once a week in an effort to globally enrich their current knowledge base of Spain, letter writing skills, and the use of a computer.

The students are enjoying this opportunity and are quickly realizing how different the world around them can be.  It is Amanda Jackson's hope that through this experience, and others similar, her students will leave third grade as lifelong learners who will continue to seek out ways to globally enrich their lives.

"As a teacher, one of your biggest goals is to design activities and lessons that your students will always remember.  I am so happy to have come across such an enriching website that keeps my students fully engaged and constantly searching to learn more.  If they could email back and forth all day, everyday, I think they would do it without hesitation!" shared Amanda Jackson.

Trenton Blume says, "I feel happy about being ePals with Spain because we get to learn more about another country.  This is a lot cooler than learning it from my Social Studies book!"

Written by: Amanda Jackson, Third grade teacher
Posted: Mar 30, 2011 by Kimberly Thomas

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