As part of the third grade Social Studies curriculum, students study the country of Brazil, taking a closer look at its history, geography, government, economy and culture. To enhance their academic experience firsthand, Blue Creek Elementary students participated in a Skype session with Gus Ferroni, who lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ferroni teaches English as a Foreign Language and Portuguese for Foreigners and also runs an online school. He has been teaching for 15 years.
During the Skype session, students asked Ferroni questions on a variety of topics, including schools in Brazil, food, sports, and even if they had fire drills at his daughters’ schools! Students in Kathy Berger, Lea Carafello, and Stephanie Normandin’s classes all participated.
The project began last June when third grade teacher Kathy Berger contacted North Colonie’s K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist Gary Cimorelli for help in finding a school to Skype with. Although third grade students also study China, the time difference made it impossible. The teachers found a connection through Blue Creek first grade teacher MaryAnn DeSacia, whose brother lives in Brazil.
As an extension of this experience, Blue Creek students will participate with a Skype session with a classroom of students in Brazil, answering questions about their lives in the United States.