7 Global Project Ideas from a Leading 3rd Grade Classroom

Vickie Morgado on episode 177 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

Vickie Morgado from Canada has her third graders connecting with the world! Learn about global Kahoots, how she tweets with her class and more global collaborative techniques in this show.

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure.For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

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Enhanced Transcript

What Great Teachers Have in Common

Shownotes: www.coolcatteacher.com/e177
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vicki Davis: Today we’re talking to third-grade teacher, Vickie Morgado @vickiemorgado from Ontario. Canada.

Overview of Vickie Morgado’s Global Collaboration in Her 3rd Grade Classroom

Vickie, you are passionate about global collaboration and building student leaders. If you gave us a 30-second overview of all the wild and amazing things you’ve done in the past year, what is it?

Vickie Morgado: One of the things we’ve done is we raised about $500 both locally and globally in a couple different projects. We have connected with different classrooms. We’ve traveled the world. I think we’ve learned how to use social media in just a really positive way, and learned to communicate and build a global audience, and shared our learning, and learned with others.

Vicki Davis: Wow. Now that’s a lot!

Now, I did hear your name, traveling back from ISTE this year — and the work that you and Carol McLaughlin. Tell me about some of the stuff that you all have done.

Vickie Morgado: Well, it’s really interesting because Carol and I met I think about five years ago. She is the moderator now. I think of #secondchat. We were both participating, and I was new to the second grade.

We did this awesome science project, where Carol came up with the idea. We filled some balloons and made a snowman. We watched it melt from a solid to a liquid and then boiled it to a gas. In her class, my class, and in another class, we used Twitter to communicate back and forth. We shared our observations, what was happening. We “Storified” it at the end, and kind of shared it.

  • Storify is a fantastic tool that lets you pull tweets together. If you look at these storifies, you can find so many fantastic ideas. I wasn’t able to find the storify mentioned here, however, look at ways to pull tweets together. Storify will do that.

Since then, we’ve done some really neat things. We did a Trick-or-Treat at Halloween, globally and virtually through Skype.

We’ve done Mystery Skypes. We’ve done global Kahoots, which was a lot of fun.

She’s just so much fun to work with! We finally got a chance to meet in person and present together at ISTE this year. It was like we’d known each other forever, and we were roommates. She’s just a wonderful a global educator, and it was wonderful to meet her in person!

Virtual Trick or Treat Project

Vicki Davis: Okay, I’ve got to ask — first of all, how do you do a virtual Trick-or-Treat?

Vickie Morgado: So basically, the idea is we would call someone and Trick-or-Treat, but instead of the treat part, we have something we share related to Halloween. So we did a shared reading. Then we also shared how we celebrate Trick-or-Treat for Carol in Alabama, and how we do it basically in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The we just answered any questions. We got a chance to see each others’ costumes. So that’s kind of a neat experience.

Global Kahoot Project

Vicki Davis: Lots of us have used Kahoot, but explain what is a global Kahoot?

Vickie Morgado: So we’ve done a global Kahoot Is it a few times. Basically, it was an “international competition” we called it. We logged on, and somebody is the Skype person who leads the questions. We actually Skyped as educators beforehand, to make sure that we had agreed on the content and what kind of questions we wanted. And on the day, all the students log in with their devices, and we had a little international competition. It was fun, and some of the questions related to the different countries we were from. It was a blast, and the kids loved it.

Vicki Davis: Oh, I’ll bet they did! How many did you have in your Kahoot?

Vickie Morgado: Carol and I have done it with just our classes, but I’d done one a couple years ago where we had about… I’d say five or six classes. It was a little chaotic but in a good way. It was fun!

Vicki Davis: Wow! That’s awesome!

How Vickie Morgado Uses Social Media in Her Classroom

So now you had your second graders and now this year your third graders using social media. Describe how that works in your classroom.

Vickie Morgado: Basically I have my own classroom handle, @mrsmorgado1.

Step 1: Teach Digital Citizenship

At the beginning, I do a lot of work on digital citizenship — that we behave on social media the way we do in real life. We’re the same person and we’re respectful in real life, and we want to model that when we’re using social media. Just put out positivity, and educate each other, and learn from each other. So we follow classes around the world.

Step 2: Have a gradual release of responsibility

A lot of it at the beginning is a gradual release of responsibility, so I model it a lot at the beginning. Gradually, I let the students tell me what to tweet.

Step 3: Guided Tweeting

We have “guided tweeting” where we’ll spend 5 minutes and we’ll take a look at what’s happening around the world. We’ll talk about how we want to respond to our friends around the world, and what questions we have. I think it’s just a great way at a young age to show them how to use social media in a positive way, how to use it to build a network of people, how to learn from each other.

Really, given some of the things going on in the world, I think it’s just a great way for them to see so many commonalities with students and educators around the world. Even though there are differences, there are far more commonalities between all of us.

Step 4: Connect with Parents

So it’s been very, very positive and really well received with the students and even the parents. They get a chance to see what their students are doing. There are no questions about, “What did you do at school today?”

They can come home and have a conversation and say, “I know you did this today…”

It’s cool to have a conversation and share and be really proud of the work that they’re doing — and the learning and the growing. You can see that demonstrated through social media, so it’s it’s been a wonderful tool.

Step 5: Connect with Other Classrooms

We’ve written stories through Twitter with classes back and forth and then “Storified” it, which was a lot of fun. I did that with the class in the United States at Christmas and Halloween.

There are so many ways to connect and find great educators and people.

An Explanation of Guided Tweeting

Vicki Davis: So Vicki, explain to us how “guided tweeting” works. Because that ‘s one thing, you know, a lot of teachers want to get their kids on Twitter, but they’re kind of afraid of unleashing that.

Vickie Morgado: Yeah. So I do recommend… at the beginning of the year, I do a lot of work with how do we you know be responsible with social media. How do we be respectful? (We even cover) how to download apps.

We do a lot of work before we delve into it. But basically, just like you know you would pull out a book. and you would read it with the students. I like to pull it up on SmartBoard and the projector. I scan through it, and that why I only follow classrooms — which I would recommend.

How Vickie Morgado got started

A lot of my work with Twitter has come through reading Kathy Cassidy’s book, She’s a great educator from Canada. Her Connected from the Start book has a whole section on it.

Years ago, when I started out, I read her book. She really laid it out safely, and how to do it with primary students. And she’s very selective as well with who she follows.

I always pull it up just ahead of time to kind of look at it myself, and and then we’ll share and I’ll ask the kids, you know, which tweets (to read and respond to).

At first, I’ll model it. This is interesting. I’ll ask them a question and show them.

Then there’s a whole explanation of the hashtag.

So there is there is a lot of learning that has to go on with Twitter.

Realistically, they will be on social media. So I feel like if you build that foundation safely at a younger age, there will be, perhaps hopefully, fewer issues as they get older.

I find sometimes some of the issues that we’ll have in middle or upper high school is normal because they really haven’t been taught.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of negativity out there, and that’s what often gets put out in the media. So I think we need to counter that with showing them that it is a powerful tool. It can be used for good. It should be used for good.

What Mistakes Have You Made Collaborating Globally?

Vicki Davis: So… as we finish up, is there a mistake you’ve made as you’ve done all this global collaborative work?

Vickie Morgado: I think one of the challenges when I first started off (was that ) I found it more of a challenge to find people at work globally with.

But now it’s I feel inundated. You can overdo it.

So I like to be selective now, sort of, with the projects I choose. I’ll get to know the students at the beginning of the year, and then basically, I’ll pick and choose based on their interests and their needs.

Also having sort of a bunch of educators that I work with that I know I can rely on… has made it a lot easier.

So that is a tip that I would give. Don’t overdo it.

There are a lot of projects going at the same time now. You can just be pulled in many directions.

Vicki Davis: Yeah.

Vickie Morgado: Yeah.

But by the same token, I think, leave room for flexibility.

A Project with Ryan’s Well that Grew from a Tweet

So this year, for example, I didn’t plan a school project, but we were doing a shared story on Ryan Hreljac. In grade 2, his teacher shared a book about water and how many communities didn’t have access to clean water. He couldn’t believe it, so he decided to raise money with his friends in Grade 1 to build a well

Now he’s about 25, and he runs Ryan’s Well.

And we basically tweeted it out that we were reading the story and the organization — I put them in the handle — they tweeted back, “How would you like to talk to him?”

And I was like, “Absolutely!”

So we Skyped with him.

We read a bunch of books as well — related to the theme, picture books — so that they had some more schema.

And they were so moved that they decided to do something. So they basically raised about $300 through volunteering, and doing kindness dances at school for other classes, and helping out at home.

That money was used to build a well with the organization.

So, I didn’t plan for that, but I also saw an opportunity and felt that this would be a great experience. So also be willing to sort of jump into things and take a chance.

Vicki Davis: So teachers, Vicki is an example of someone I call a “teacherpreneur.” She creates opportunities for her students. She accepts responsibility, but she’s inventive and creative. We can all do this!

Vickie Morgado: Absolutely!

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted


Vickie has been an elementary educator in Ontario, Canada for 16 years. She has taught multiple grades a


nd worked as a technology coach. Vickie believes in empowering her students to take charge of their learning to create positive change in the world becoming agents of change. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies from Brock University and has presented throughout southern Ontario at various conferences including BIT (Bring it Together), OAME (Ontario Association for Mathematics Education) and Connect Conference in Niagara Falls, as well as internationally at ISTE 2015 and 2017. Vickie is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE), Skype Master Teacher, and PioNear. She uses technology in her classroom to connects her students with the world.

Blog: http://globalconnections2014.edublogs.org/

Personal Twitter: @vickiemorgado1

Class Twitter: @MrsMorgado1

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

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