Today my class began the Global Classroom Challenge and so far we are really enjoying it. For anyone who doesn’t know the GCC challenge (see:http://www.gccjunior.org/) gives every child in a class a pedometer for them to count the number of steps they do each day. Their daily steps in the ‘real’ world take them on an amazing internet-based adventure in a ‘virtual’ one. The children are then able to track our virtual journey on the website with a special username and password. Here they can learn about the places we visit on our ‘virtual’ walk and compare our school with other schools.
We will record our activity level, keep healthy and take part in a virtual walk around the world learning about health, nutrition, exercise and the places they visit over the 50 days of the event. The ‘virtual’ journey around the world has a factual discovery focus, allowing the children to learn about other countries, towns, cities, and the day-to-day lives of similar aged children from different cultures all around the world.
I sent the pedometers home with the children along with a letter explaining the project and what it would involve yesterday afternoon. The children were told to put it on as soon as they woke up and to wear it all day. All but 2 remembered them and one of those 2 who forgot ran back home and got his before the beginning of school. The children have then spent the day over exaggerating all of their walking movements and trying to be on the move as much as possible. When standing to speak to me they’re walking on the spot, at playtimes they’re actively choosing to play games like ‘tag’ so they can keep moving and they wanted to silently read whilst standing and marching on the spot in registration this afternoon!
I know it’s only the first day so at the moment it has huge novelty value but I’m hoping we can maintain it. I have created a GoogleDoc spreadsheet (by created a mean, titled the document and added one column heading ‘Name’ and another ‘20.9.12’) which I will open every morning. The children have been told that in register order (as this is an order they know well) they should add in their number of steps one after the other, as quickly as possible (we have to swap to maths after 10 minutes). I have then embedded the spreadsheet on a blogpost for the children to be able to show others, and check regularly, and this will also calculate the class average which is what we update on the website.
I will post later on how this is progressing but so far it is something very excited that I am pleased to be a part of. Apparently this year there are 165,000 school children taking part from all over the world and we are very proud to be joining them.