Last week, 6,966 students from 52 countries connected on PenPal Schools. Here are some of our favorite posts!
"In my opinion diversity is important. Diversity is the reason people are able to learn and grow from each other. It is very important for all people to experience and learn about the lives of others from different ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and origins. Not only is it important to learn about others, but using the information we learn and implementing it into our everyday lives by forming new and different perspectives and seeing where people are coming from with their beliefs. If we were all to be around the same people exactly like ourselves, we would learning nothing new. That is why diversity is so important and something all people should value and strive to learn more about."
- Julia ( USA shared in Race in America)
"Two highlights from studying with PenPals were how I got to learn about what life is like for kids all over the world and how I got to tell them my ideas and how they got to tell me theirs. I especially liked when I could relate something from my life to something from somebody else's, even if we don't live in the same place. For example, I had many PenPals tell me that they were concerned with climate change and noticed a lack of snow where they lived just like I did. I would like to know what other thoughts and ideas they have and what other similarities or differences there might be between us."
- Gianna, USA (Shared in Protecting the Planet)
"I have seen a documentary about the educational system of France. I was impressed by French college entrance exam called 'Baccalaureat'. It's not just a normal exam but highly complex interview exam that evaluates students' thinking abilities, not memorization skills. I am really curious of such educational system because I like to give my opinion about what I have learned to my classmates. So if I could go to school in a different country for one year, I would go to France."
-Yang, South Korea (Shared in Schools around the World)
"I learned a lot from my penpals about what they eat. I even tried one of penpal my penpal treats. Trying the recipes of your penpals gives you a chance to taste different foods. It was really fun learning about different spices some I never even heard of, but thanks to penpal schools I know what they are. This project was really fun. When I got my first assignment on penpal schools I was so excited. The best part is learning about different cultures and foods. When I have a new assignment on penpal schools I'm ready to jump on board. Every day is a new adventure! Making new friends in penpal schools gives you a chance to meet someone that's really far away. My advice is to have fun when you are in penpal schools"
- Jala A, USA (shared in A World of Food)
These are just a few of the thousands of posts that students shared last week. If you would like to connect your students with PenPals, start by choosing from over 50 academic topics.
And if your students are sharing great work on PenPal Schools, please submit a nomination for next week!
“How can I adapt my lesson plan to support distance learning?” “How can I build relationships with students who I have never met in person?” “How can my school support online learning with limited access to technology?” “How can students collaborate with their peers from a distance?”
These are questions teachers all over the world are asking. That’s why PenPal Schools is excited to announce our fall webinar series, Collaboration. Join us to hear from our community of brilliant educators to learn how they are stepping up to the challenge to deliver great instruction during these uncertain times.
Ready to be part of the global education conversation? Tune into the webinar series to learn:
"All educators have the civic responsibility to learn and teach the basic history and tenets of this movement for racial justice." - Jamilah Pitt
To the PenPal Schools community,
PenPal Schools stands with the Black community in fighting for equality today while we continue our work to foster empathy and tolerance in tomorrow’s leaders. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others are not the result of a few “bad apples.” They are the product of a system based on a history of racism and injustice.
Below are resources that help to provide children and teens with historical and conceptual frameworks to better understand recent events. These resources also highlight civil rights leaders past and present to inspire our youth to work for a better future. PenPal Schools resources are provided for free to teachers and parents.
On March 21st, more than 1,000 students from over 30 countries celebrated World Poetry Day in the PenPal Schools Global Poetry Contest. Students wrote and shared original poetry, then voted for their favorite poems written by their peers!
Students poets came from countries like Somalia, Thailand, Argentina, and the United States. No matter where students live, poetry allows them to share their thoughts and perspectives with the world. In the Global Poetry Contest, students wrote poetry about history, the environment, sports, pets, and beloved family members. Their poems expressed emotions like grief, love, fear, anticipation, and gratitude. Join us in congratulating our 2020 Global Poetry Contest winners!
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 need to learn instead of guiding students with questions. Essential questions (also known as "driving questions") create authentic learning experiences to engage and motivate students. With strong essential questions, you'll never hear students ask “why are we doing this?”
The most engaging questions are open-ended and require research. They also give students choice by allowing them to align their learning with their own passions and interests. Essential questions are a key element of project-based learning, so we’ve outlined 14 essential question stems to help you get started.