A Summer of Discoveries and New Connections

Discovering the Country

Miss Pinto and her California kiddos had a three week lead on summer vacation, but it wasn’t the end of the communication with Mrs. Twomey and her New Jersey kids! As mentioned in Our Year Long Memory String post, we created a Flipgrid for our students to share and keep in touch over the summer. One of the topics gave the kids the space to share about places they were going. Miss Pinto utilized that space to share about the #ISTELadiesRoadTrip.

A New Way of Connecting

Throughout the school year, our kids made several connections to each other and what they were learning, regardless of the fact that they were across the country. There was no limit in the way that we (us teachers and the kids) embraced opportunities to deepen those connections within the classroom. While we shared experiences with the kids, there was also a lot of behind the scenes collaboration and planning for what we were doing in the classroom AND the #SlowFlipChat we were moderating. Our partnership deepened as the school year went on and paved the way for our friendship as well. We took that “no limits to connections” mindset that we shared with the kids in the classroom and came together to connect for the FIRST TIME IN THE SAME SPACE!

Shout out to Jessica’s husband, Dan, for being spontaneous and capturing our special moment!

Of course, it was a joy to be in the same space and surreal at the same time. Yes, we took away the screen and eliminated the distance for the duration of our visit. However, we acquired a deeper sense of the knowing that our human connection IS as real as it always felt BECAUSE of how true and authentic we were throughout ALL of our collaboration and interactions in the spaces that we were in. A deep human connection HAS the potential to live on AND off the screen. THIS is something we can all share with our students, as we guide them in BEING who they are in the physical and digital world.

When we nurture our students, we want to help them to be respectful, authentic, and REAL. We want to teach them how to hear and nurture each other, and imagine possibilities together. If we are authentic in that, then the human connection is not limited to the screen. It WILL translate between platforms and tools, and into physical space.

Bringing Our Worlds Together

An opportunity came our way at just the right time when we were together. We were asked by Flipgrid to share an impact story with how we utilized the tool with our kids. Interestingly, Flipgrid was the space we first saw each other, the tool our kids primarily interacted on, the platform in which we facilitate our discussion with teachers, and we were presented with an opportunity to share while physically together.

Wondering About the New School Year

As we reflected on the discoveries of the past year, settled into our new understanding of the translation of human experience between the screen and shared physical space, and prepared to welcome our new classes for the upcoming year, we looked at ways to create a deeper and more consistent daily connection between classrooms.

Our biggest wonders are: How can we create a framework for Innovating Play that flows within and between classrooms from anywhere in the world? What does the mindset of Innovating Play LOOK and FEEL like in practice?

We spent the summer breaking down the details of the day. We focused on connecting the mindset, wondering about possibilities, creating space to integrate learning and play, and providing opportunities for reflection and discovery. This year, as we prepare to build and grow together, here are some of the wonders that we will be exploring with children, families, and teachers around the world:

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