PENPAL SCHOOLS IS OFFERING FREE ACCESS DURING
THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
As of mid March 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus has kept almost 300 million students out of school around the world. In response to school closures, PenPal School is offering free access for the duration of the pandemic so that learners everywhere can access high-quality online learning materials while maintaining the social interaction necessary for their continued development.
As of early March 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus has kept almost 300 million students out of school around the world. Many schools are planning for the impact of coronavirus by moving instruction online or suspending in-person instruction.
The PenPal Schools team is here to support with free access to PenPal Schools for any teachers and students affected by coronavirus. If your school is affected by the coronavirus, mention that you would like assistance next time you join a PenPal topic.
When Mr. Knight wants to engage his students in academics, he looks for activities that offer student choice and opportunities to engage with an authentic audience.
Since joining the PenPal Schools community in 2018, Mr. Knight, a Grade 5 teacher from Canada, and his students have studied mythology from communities around the world, discussed environmental issues, and learned how art can inspire action and bring communities together.
This month, we’re excited to highlight two of Mr. Knight’s students as PenPal Stars for their outstanding work in the Protecting the Planet topic on PenPal Schools!
During each week of PenPal-A-Palooza our team profiles PenPals from around the world who demonstrate excellence in reading, writing, technology, and global citizenship skills. This week’s PenPal Stars come from just outside of New Delhi, India. In the town of Noida in the region of Uttar Pradesh, India, Ms. Aprajita Ralli makes global education and authentic writing practice a central part of classroom instruction.
Ms. Ralli’s young scholars connected with PenPals from the United States, Thailand, Australia, India, Spain, and many others countries to share perspectives and make new friends. Join us in celebrating these exemplary global citizens!
Too often, teachers tell students exactly what they’ll be learning instead of guiding students with questions. Essential questions for PBL create authentic learning scenarios to engage, motivate, and help students guide themselves.What is a driving question? Good PBL driving questions help you provide a purpose for learning so that you never hear students say “why are we doing this?”
The most engaging questions are open-ended and require investigation or research in order to answer. They also give students choice by allowing them to align their learning with their own passions and interests. Essential questions, or driving questions, are a key element of project-based learning, so we’ve outlined 14 essential question stems to help you craft the most engaging PBL essential questions.
Last month we invited you and your students to join classrooms from around the world in PenPal-A-Palooza 2020. Since then over 1,000 teachers from 70 different countries have joined this special event! To join PenPal-A-Palooza simply participate in any PenPal Schools topic during February 2020. At the end of PenPal-A-Palooza, we’ll recognize students who submit outstanding projects as PenPal Stars.
Meet PenPal Star Matt, a Grade 7 student from South Africa! Matt and his classmates recently participated in two PenPal Schools topics, World Explorer and Plant & Animal Adaptation.
If you’re looking to dive into project based learning with your class but are having trouble finding the right projects, we’re here to help! We’ll looking at 10 project based learning ideas for 2020, featuring some of our favorite PenPals! All of these project based learning ideas come from exploring PenPal Schools topics, so you can bring these PBL ideas to your classroom!
1. Ask your students to analyze fake news
How does Fake News affect communities around the world? Challenge your students to think about the characteristics of exaggerated or disingenuous media and its potential effects on society. In Facts, Opinions and Fake News, students create a public service announcement where they inform others how to distinguish a credible news story from a disreputable one or ask them to write a fictional story imagining a world where people believe every news story they hear.
You and your students are invited to join classrooms from around the world in the biggest PenPal exchange of the year: PenPal-A-Palooza 2020! To join PenPal-A-Palooza simply participate in any PenPal Schools topic during January or February 2020.
Now that more schools around the world have access to the internet, teachers are eager to connect their students globally. Global connections not only increase engagement for students and improve social & emotional skills like empathy, but they also require students to improve communication skills like reading, writing, and digital literacy. Global connections can take your project-based learning unit to the next level! According to Andrew Miller, “PBL naturally connects to global readiness as it focuses on complex issues, problem solving, and taking action.”