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!
Last month, we hosted 2 webinars to help English language teachers learn more about connecting their students to practice language with other learners around the world. Whether your students are practicing their first language or learning a second, third, or even fourth language, connecting students with their peers around the world is a great way to practice language authentically!
Over 550 IB educators around the world signed up to learn more about global project-based learning with PenPal Schools!
During the webinar, educators had the chance to participate in a #GlobalPBL Twitter chat to connect and share resources. We discussed student agency, assessment, planning, and tips for teachers that are new to project-based learning.
On March 21st, 600 students from 22 countries celebrated World Poetry Day by joining the PenPal Schools Global Poetry Contest. Students wrote and shared original poetry, then voted for their favorite poems written by their peers!
Bring global connections into your curriculum every month this semester! Here are the best topics and contests for every major content area each month this semester. To make it even easier for your class to participate, you can begin exploring a topic at any time!
PenPal-A-Palooza has officially started and our awesome students are loving making global connections through project based learning! To celebrate all of the great work our PenPals are posting, we will recognize four PenPal-A-Palooza All-Stars who excel in writing, reading, social and emotional learning (SEL), and digital citizenship each week. Will your students be next week’s All-Stars? Keep them inspired with these excellent examples!
Congratulations to this week’s PenPal-A-Palooza All-Stars: Cassidy, Jimmy, Marcus, and Alvaro! Your work inspires students around the world. See how these All-Stars are helping students develop key skills in these project based learning examples:
Have you joined PenPal-A-Palooza yet? Each day, thousands of students are making global connections and exploring different topics. Project based learning with PenPal Schools makes it fun for students and teachers to develop reading, writing, social and emotional learning (SEL), and digital citizenship skills!
PenPal-A-Palooza ends February 28, and each week we are going to recognize 4 all-star students that demonstrate excellence in reading, writing, social & emotional skills, and digital citizenship! Here’s a sneak peak of what we’re looking for in our PenPal-A-Palooza All-Stars and how to support your students so they can win an award:
It is officially holiday season! What holidays do you and your students celebrate? In Holidays & Festivals of the World, students explore how people around the world celebrate different holidays including New Years, Christmas, Ramadan, and Diwali through project based learning. Students collaborate with peers to discover traditions and culture as they create products such as holiday cards, proposals for new holidays, and stories about how they celebrate their own holidays!
Over 2,000 students from around the world participated in the Global School Pride Contest, sharing what makes their school special in the PenPal Schools project Schools Around the World. We’re excited to announce the winners from this contest: Iris, Ava, Lauren, and Catherine from Trinity Preparatory School in Florida, USA!
This week, meet one of our Global Ambassadors from Lithuania, Egle Bridikiene! She teaches at Martynas Mažvydas progymnasium and loves how PenPal Schools helps her students develop digital citizenship.