Meeting Via Skype

Here is a short video taken during a live, classroom to classroom interaction using Skype. Students express their feelings toward the project, while teacher Troy Tenhet explains the curriculum focus.

Singapore / California Global Project

The following lesson was developed by Manuel Rose Delema (Singapore) and Troy Tenhet (California, USA)
GRADE LEVELS: Intermediate (4-6)
Download lesson file Project1.doc

•To develop learner’s competency in Instructional Technology (IT) by introducing them to web logging, video-conferencing, emailing, pod-casting, web hosting.
•To infuse an innovative dimension to the current ICT/EL (Singapore) and district adopted curriculum (California).
•To encourage multi-disciplinary and cross-content learning.
•To develop learners’ curiosity and love for learning and researching.
•To promote cultural awareness through global networking with schools worldwide.
•To create a website for educators to share educational resources/experiences globally.
•To develop and strengthen pupils language proficiency specifically in four key areas: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
•To encourage learners to communicate in Standard English (spoken/written) as Student Ambassadors of Singapore and the United States.
•To provide opportunities for learners to showcase their creativitity on a global platform.
•To explore collaborative teaching as a means to increase student participation.
•To showcase collaboration on International Friendship Day in an effort to further enhance key messages higlighted in National Education (Singapore).
•To expose learners to a genre-based approach to language learning and teaching.

Goals of the Curriculum

•Learners will display measurable competency in many key language arts strands.
•Learners develop a keen sense of awareness of their own culture and that of others.
•Learners confidently display their school’s core values as they work on their projects.
•Learners become reflective, life-long learners that see the value of deep collaboration.
•Learners’ Social Emotional Learning competencies are developed progressively as each unit is completed.
•Each learner’s potential is maximized and a love for learning is developed and nurtured.
•Learners embrace tolerant ideals and contribute to a positive learning climate inside classrooms worldwide.

•Skype video-conferencing software/capabilities
•Computers (laptop or desktop, PC or Mac)
•High speed internet access
•IT support
•White screen or Smartboard/3M capabilities
•Webcam or videocamera with FireWire
•Markers, pens, paper, tape, crayons
•Funding for the mailing of cultural assignments/packages

Specific California Content Standards (ELA)

2.0 Reading Comprehension-Focus on Informational Materials
Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. The selections in Recommended Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition, by grade eight, students read one million words annually on their own, including a good representation of grade-level-appropriate narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information). In grade six, students continue to make progress toward this goal.

Structural Features of Informational Materials

2.1: Identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, online information) and use the features to obtain information.
2.2: Analyze text that uses the compare-and-contrast organizational pattern.

1.0 Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.

Organization and Focus

1.1: Choose the form of writing (e.g., personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, narrative) that best suits the intended purpose.
1.2: Create multiple-paragraph expository compositions:
           a.Engage the interest of the reader and state a clear purpose.
           b.Develop the topic with supporting details and precise verbs, nouns, and adjectives to paint a visual image in the mind of the reader.
           c.Conclude with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition.
1.3: Use a variety of effective and coherent organizational patterns, including comparison and contrast; organization by categories; and arrangement by spatial order, order of importance, or climactic order.

Research and Technology

1.4: Use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate information.
1.5: Compose documents with appropriate formatting by using word-processing skills and principles of  design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation).

Evaluation and Revision

1.6: Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs.

2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
Using the writing strategies of grade six outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:

2.1: Write narratives:
           a.Establish and develop a plot and setting and present a point of view that is appropriate to the stories.
           b.Include sensory details and concrete language to develop plot and character.
           c.Use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dialogue, suspense).
2.2: Write expository compositions (e.g., description, explanation, comparison and contrast, problem and solution):
           a.State the thesis or purpose.
           b.Explain the situation.
           c.Follow an organizational pattern appropriate to the type of composition.
           d.Offer persuasive evidence to validate arguments and conclusions as needed.
2.3: Write research reports:
           a.Pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered.
           b.Support the main idea or ideas with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information searches).
           c.Include a bibliography.
2.4: Write responses to literature:
           a.Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
           b.Organize the interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.
           c.Develop and justify the interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.
2.5: Write persuasive compositions:
           a.State a clear position on a proposition or proposal.
           b.Support the position with organized and relevant evidence.
           c.Anticipate and address reader concerns and counterarguments.

1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies
Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.


1.1: Relate the speaker's verbal communication (e.g., word choice, pitch, feeling, tone) to the nonverbal message (e.g., posture, gesture).
1.2: Identify the tone, mood, and emotion conveyed in the oral communication.
1.3: Restate and execute multiple-step oral instructions and directions.

Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication

1.4: Select a focus, an organizational structure, and a point of view, matching the purpose, message, occasion, and vocal modulation to the audience.
1.5: Emphasize salient points to assist the listener in following the main ideas and concepts.
1.6: Support opinions with detailed evidence and with visual or media displays that use appropriate technology.
1.7: Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone and align nonverbal elements to sustain audience interest and attention.

Analysis and Evaluation of Oral and Media Communications

1.8: Analyze the use of rhetorical devices (e.g., cadence, repetitive patterns, use of onomatopoeia) for intent and effect.
1.9: Identify persuasive and propaganda techniques used in television and identify false and misleading information.

2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0.
Using the speaking strategies of grade six outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0, students:
2.1: Deliver narrative presentations:
           a.Establish a context, plot, and point of view.
           b.Include sensory details and concrete language to develop the plot and character.
           c.Use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dialogue, tension, or suspense).
2.2: Deliver informative presentations:
           a.Pose relevant questions sufficiently limited in scope to be completely and thoroughly answered.
           b.Develop the topic with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information).
2.3: Deliver oral responses to literature:
           a.Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
           b.Organize the selected interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.
           c.Develop and justify the selected interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.
2.4: Deliver persuasive presentations:
           a.Provide a clear statement of the position.
           b.Include relevant evidence.
           c.Offer a logical sequence of information.
           d.Engage the listener and foster acceptance of the proposition or proposal.
2.5: Deliver presentations on problems and solutions:
           a.Theorize on the causes and effects of each problem and establish connections between the defined problem and at least one solution.
           b.Offer persuasive evidence to validate the definition of the problem and the proposed solutions.

Learning Units
Please note that all units will be accompanied by any needed handouts (as needed only).
Unit 1: Me, Myself, and I (These are video presentations of about a minute each where the students simply introduce themselves to their global partners).
Unit 2: My Family and My Community (This is a news-report in video, audio, or written form where the student gives an overview of their immediate family and makes an informed statement about their respective community).
Unit 3: My School (This is simply a narrative text that will be typed out and it will describe some interesting facts about the students’ schools. Pictures will be imbedded as well).
Unit 4 : Famous People/Places/Food in My Country (This is in the informational text/biography format and this assignment might be completed on a poster of sorts).
Unit 5 : Environmental Issues That Affect My Country (This is a typed paper that discusses the topic).
Unit 6 : My Dream/Aspirations for My Country and My Life (This will be a personal letter addressed to a specific student in another partner classroom).
Unit 7 : The Significance of Our Friendship (This is a personal letter of reflection written to specific members (all inclusive) of the partner classrooms).
Unit 8 : Special People I want to Honor/Roll of Honor (This is an assignment where the students will choose a real person in their life and honor them with a poster that “advertises” them. The Roll of Honor will span the globe).
Unit 9: Square of Life (Handouts will accompany this at the appropriate time. Students will essentially study a square meter of ground in their community and compare its inanimate and animate qualities with communties around the world).
Unit 10 : My Unique Friendship Toy/Invention (This is an instructional set of directions for creating something. In this case, the US team will create egg drop vehicles called Mars Landers).
Unit 11: Picture Collage of Friends Forever (This task will be a digital sharing of images and writings from the project and it will be displayed on boards around the classrooms).
Unit 12: Nice Words and Phrases of My Country “Word Wall-Collage” (This is a task that studies/notes positive words and idiomatic phrases from the partner communities and then posts them on displays within the partner classrooms).
Unit 13: The Globe in my Hand (This will be a series of free-expression performances to be done in realtime via Skype. Students will be encouraged to work in groups for their performances that may include skits, presentations, demonstrations, and oral language pieces).

Each unit should take about 2-3 weeks to complete.