Monday, March 29, 2021

What's Your Number?: A Mysterious Zoom Experience

With a full year under our belts of learning in a Covid world, we have seen so much growth in our classrooms across the district regarding the integration of technology in new, and exciting ways. We’re seeing technology being leveraged to move learning forward. It’s being used to connect us with learners outside the four walls of our classrooms. It’s presenting opportunities that may not have been considered prior to the pivot we made last Spring. The challenges of this pandemic have been great…but the outcomes of those challenges are worth talking about and celebrating. 

One tool many of us gravitated towards at the beginning of the pandemic was Zoom. Zoom allowed us to reach our learners remotely. It allowed connection when we were all in isolation. It allowed our teachers to check in with their students to support both academic and social emotional needs. Even after our buildings opened back up, we still had a great number of students and teachers using Zoom to connect for remote instruction. Zoom has been an integral part of the successes over the last year. 

Most recently, we have had teachers leverage Zoom to connect their students with students across the district and with students in a neighboring district. An educator from Denton ISD posted on Twitter that she was seeking to connect with another class in another district for a Mystery Number Zoom. The professional learning network (PLN) that Twitter provides is incredible. This was absolutely an experience I knew some of my educators would be interested in. Zoom was used to host a Mystery Number experience in Mrs. Janese’s Kindergarten classroom, connecting her students with students at E.P. Rayzor Elementary. 

During the Mystery Number Zoom, Mrs. Janese’s students were tasked with guessing a number between 1-100 by asking the other class yes or no questions about their mystery number. This included questions like: Is your number even? Is your number greater than 50? Does your number have a five in the ones place? After asking the question and receiving the answer from the other class, students marked their hundreds chart accordingly. The other class then asked their yes/no question. Each group used the questions and answers, their hundreds chart, and their knowledge of numbers to guess the other class’ mystery number. 

“The Mystery zoom was so fun! The kiddos love asking questions and trying to solve the mystery number. They also enjoyed keeping their number a mystery and answering the questions. Mrs. Janese and her students really enjoyed this experience. She said, “It was great to see both classes cheering each other when they solved the mystery numbers. It was wonderful connecting to another class especially now, and we would love to do this again!” Coleman and Braxton, two students in her class agreed, saying, “We loved this and want to do it again.”

Another Mystery Number Zoom took place between two remote classrooms within the district. Mrs. Mogg and Mrs. Thomas, both 2nd grade remote educators in Northwest ISD, were excited to partner their students with each other. This partnership allowed students from nine different campuses to connect via Zoom. For Lyla, it Mrs. Mogg’s class that part of the experience was especially exciting. “I would like to do this again because it was really fun to meet new people from different schools where they are learning some of the same things.” 

During this experience, students were assigned in groups to breakout rooms, where they took turns sharing their screen to reveal clues about their Mystery Number. Students used Pear Deck and Seesaw to share their clues, while the other students used critical thinking and their knowledge of numbers to guess the mystery number. Mrs. Mogg, Mrs. Thomas, and building principals Mrs. Bunch & Mrs. Oster were able to pop between breakout rooms to interact with all students. “I was thrilled to do this Mystery Number Zoom with another remote class”, Mrs. Mogg explains. “It was such a cool opportunity for my students to take ownership of their learning by creating their very own clues to identify a number! They loved getting to share them and connect with students from different campuses.”

If you are interested in partnering with another teacher in our district to create an opportunity like this, reach out to your campus Instructional Technologist for support. 

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