Global Connections: Before, During and After

young student learning on a computer conference

Pike Township 3rd grade student following along with Day of the Dead activity zoom directions from Mexican teacher and students

You have the perfect lesson for a global connection. You have reached out and found an opportunity that would enrich your students’ depth of knowledge. You want to do things correctly and feel overwhelmed with this new process.

After reading Global Connections, Easy Breezy 1,2,3, you feel a little more at ease but, you wish to have things all laid out so you don’t miss a thing!

And now what?!  What have you gotten yourself into?!
 How are you REALLY going to do this?
PANIC!

No worries!
YOU can do this!
Here’s your Easy Breezy Connection Checklist!

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Before the Connection

1. Take a look at your lesson plans

Find where you can easily connect.

  • Reading: Is there a story that the students are where you could “take a trip”? For example, a story set in Mexico is a perfect time to have a global connection with Mexico! 
  • Math: Could you make comparisons in money between countries? Or could students in another country teach your students a math lesson?  
  • Social Studies: Compare cultures! Think about differences in food, clothing, music, and recreational activities.
  • Science/STEAM: Play games and/or show science experiments. Have a discussion on how to solve world problems. Connect a lesson using the UN Sustainable Development Goals – this is a perfect connection for inquiry-based learning.

2. Connect with your global connecting partner in advance to create a plan of action

With your connecting partner, review how things will run during the connection. 

  • Assign roles
  • How will the two sides take turns?
  • Who will speak when? 
  • Is this the first of many connections? 
  • Is their homework to do before the next connection? 
  • What are your expectations?  
  • What are their expectations?  
  • Are there materials that you will need during the connection?

3. Make sure the technology is working

  • Check the microphone.  
  • Check the sound.   
  • Check connection. 

4. Review the expectations with your students  

Reinforce that they are representing your school and country. Discuss how the connection that they are meeting may not speak or dress as they do. Discuss with them how to be open to different cultures’ ways of doing things. 

5. Make sure you work out the TIME ZONES

I put this in caps because it has happened to me one too many times! Double- and triple-check the time zones. And take into consideration Daylight Saving Time.

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During the Connection

  1. HAVE A BACK UP PLAN. I cannot stress this enough! Technology fails us sometimes and we need to be ready with Plan B. And if it didn’t work the first time, try, try again.
  2. Be sure students can be heard. Make sure your surroundings are quiet and the students are talking into the microphone.  
  3. Make sure you are showing on your screen what you want to show your connection. Can all the students see? Will the students use their own laptop or one board together? Do seating arrangements need to be made?
  4. Make sure you are prepared. Do all of your students have everything they need for the connection?

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After the Connection

  1. Is this a connection that you will do again?  If so, do the students have homework to do before the next connection?
  2. Recap and review with students. What was their take away? Comparisons, differences.
  3. Reflect for yourself as well. Is this what you wanted? How would you do things differently next time?

globeUse this EASY CHECKLIST from Empatico to Connect!

Empatico logo

Check out Empatico’s site for awesome connections. They do A LOT of the work for you!

Remember, all things seem overwhelming until you get some practice and repeat. The more you do these things, the more they will become natural for you. And the more you are enriching your students’ educational experiences.

In my next blog, we will dive a little deeper into connections and take a look at the different ways you and your students can connect.

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