For the past five years, I’ve looked for ways to enrich my experience as a Math teacher at Dr. Pillai Global Academy (DPGA) in Mumbai, India. DPGA prides itself on being a “maximum opportunity” learning environment school, designed to impart education that empowers children to pursue a globally challenging career. The focus is on activity-oriented teaching and beyond-the-classroom methods. That’s why Level Up Village was perfect for us.
Relationships and shared personal connections are a huge part of making learning fun, real and something that we remember long after a school year has ended. They are also great for developing empathy, broadening the mind to the experiences of others and cultivating a global mindset. The challenge for schools developing in countries like China is: How can we help students cultivate this global mindset and experience when nearly all of their classmates are from the same country and culture? Bringing teachers from around the world can go long way, but there’s something extra special about kids being able to connect with other kids and share with someone from a far-away land on their own level.
By Susan Fushikoshi, Punahou Schoool, Honolulu, Hawaii
“Clean water- it’s so precious! It’s our basic Need. Where does it come from? What can we do to keep it clean? Do we have water problems in Hawaii? How can I help someone who also has problems with their water?” Punahou 2nd graders in Honolulu, Hawaii started this inquiry about water and discovered the world!
“Hi, my name is Alice; I am from Ghana.” The sweet, soft voice of our first global partner video appeared on the big screen in our classroom. Shivers went down my spine as cheers erupted from my girls. Suddenly, the project became real. After weeks of preparing, thinking about it and discussing it, we finally had contact. For me, it was as exciting as seeing the Apollo landing as a very young toddler…suddenly, the whole world expanded and grew closer at the same moment.
In December, Mrs. Andrews’ fifth grade class at Mountain Brook Elementary School experienced a unique opportunity to speak to their partner classroom in Bogota, Colombia– LIVE! We had been waiting anxiously for weeks for this special moment, which culminated our eight-week Level Up Village Global Scientists course.
Earlier in February, Level Up Village invited its partner schools around the world to post a #GlobalEdSelfie to #SharetheLUV for global education. This was the second year LUV ran this campaign and the posts were outstanding! Thanks to all who participated and enjoy this selection of posts.
The Goddard School in Chantilly, Virginia, embarked on a brand-new, hands-on learning experience this fall that combined engineering and literacy with global perspective. The preschool partnered with Level Up Village to connect students to peers from across the world for shared STEAM (STEM + Arts) projects and cultural exchange. Pre-Kindergarten students were paired with partner students at schools in Ukraine and Zimbabwe through LUV’s lobal Storybook Engineers course.
When I was first introduced to Level Up Village (LUV), I was intrigued by the programme and thought it would be wonderful to team up with a school in another country. I was also interested in teaching my students how to code in a global classroom setting. When I shared the opportunity with my Grade 5-7 students, I received an overwhelming response! They were eager to participate, too!
At OakHill Pilar school in Buenos Aries, Argentina, a Kindergarten group and a First Grade group are both participating in Level Up Village’s Global Storybooks Engineers course and having tons of fun! They’re reading each book with the help of Miss Mai and Miss Pipi. Each book leads to a project that stems from the story: they have worked hard to make spaghetti towers to help Strega Nona and Big Anthony, and then a shell cover to protect Jabuti the Tortoise. They also used the Engineering Design Cycle to build a boat to help poor Monkey avoid Crocodile and shared videos and pictures of their projects.
“That’s why my brother’s thumbs are so long!” The once silent room erupted with laughter. The students were engaged in creating a fictitious family based on particular genetic traits. One student had the revelation that his biological brother was not, in fact, an alien but that a dominant trait in his family’s lineage must have caused his brother to grow really long “alien” thumbs. This activity was part of Global Doctors: DNA, a Level Up Village (LUV) course I taught last spring at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Windsor, Connecticut.