October 29, 2020 – Ms. Silva’s, Mrs. Smith’s and Ms. Medina’s 2nd Graders with Mrs. Harris’s 5th Graders.

By Louise Harris

How do I get the students to connect with other grades during Continuous Remote Learning?  I had been thinking a lot about this.  With Halloween coming up, there was a perfect opportunity.  I gave my students a creative writing assignment.  To get them started, I gave them the prompt “It was a dark and stormy night……”. The object was for them to write a Halloween story that would be appropriate for second graders. The students spent a week and a half working on their stories. They used all the tools that they had learned so far in Writers Workshop – revising, editing, reading the story to other students to get input and so on.

I contacted Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Silva who immediately jumped on board.  We decided that on Thursday, October 29, the fifth-graders would join the second grade zoom and share their stories.

It was so much fun to see the smiles on the students’ faces as they saw each other on the screen.  Mrs. Smith created breakout rooms and off they went to share the stories the older students had written and connect with each other. 

The zoom meeting lasted around 20 minutes. As I joined my own class in our own zoom, I decided to ask them to share their thoughts about getting together with their buddies. Here are some of their comments:

“It was great. I shared my story. Then we just caught up on the things that had happened during quarantine. I had so much fun, and I think my buddy did too.” – Tacia

“They really liked my story, but I was nervous sharing.” – Ben

“Being with my buddy was the best. I got to see someone else that isn’t in my grade.”- Grant

“As my buddy I got Scarlet. She was amazing and listened perfectly. We had so much fun with the story, sentence starters, and I even shared some Halloween jokes.” – Penelope

“It went really well. She is so nice, and she really liked my story. She showed me her dog.” – Adeline

“They really liked my story.” – Travis

“It went well and was really interesting to meet my buddy.” – Tyler

“My buddy was chill.” – Luke

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