Launching Traveling Teddy


Ack! The procrastination bug bit me! After a conscious decision to take a break from blogging and Twitter over the holidays, I have been dragging my feet, and letting the little voice in my head take over, “Maybe tomorrow?” it told me every day. Well, here I am over three weeks into the second semester, FINALLY back and writing my first post of 2014.

I’ve spent a good part of 2013 learning and thirsting after new ways to integrate technology into my Kindergarten classroom. I love every minute of it and even today learning and trying new things in the edtech world is almost like a drug! I can spend HOURS researching, experimenting and testing. I’ve failed a whole bunch of times, and it’s been frustrating. I’ve had my fair share of those moments when you think you’ve struck some genius idea and it turns out to be pure chaos when trying to execute it with a class of five-year-olds! Oh well, live and learn right?

One thing I did last school year that I had let slide due to my more recent “addiction” was my involement in the world of global education. So, as a part of my long list of 2014 New Year’s resolutions, I am going to refocus and find a better balance so I can bring global education back into my classroom! A large part of this resolution involves the launching of a global education project: Traveling Teddy.

So what’s Traveling Teddy?

I’ve often used a teddy bear in my classroom as a new member of the class, sometimes a not so well-behaved member, so that my students have a reason to reflect on school values, rules or just to teach the teddy bear something we are learning. It gives them a purpose to explain their thinking and learning.

Often when participating in global ed. activities such as Skyping with another class, a lot of the involvement is all on a screen, and as all early childhood educators know, it still doesn’t beat the value of real hands-on experiences. So, I thought maybe I could combine the two. With the help of an old colleague, Joe Sergi (@pep073), we came up with ideas for a project involving traveling teddy bear and lots of tech integration!

Over the next few weeks, my class will be teaching a Teddy bear all about Kindergarten and the things we are learning. It’s perfect timing too because we get to teach him about Chinese New Year! Then he will be sent off to visit 6 other classes around the world. Each class will have 2 weeks with Teddy, they’ll post to Teddy’s blog, Skype with other classes that have had him or will have him visit, and contribute to an ebook documenting Teddy’s journey.

What I hope this project will do is give the children that chance to build a personal relationship and experience with Teddy, so that when they see him in another class, they can make a connection and compare experiences with other children. For our pilot year of Traveling Teddy I am excited to announce we’ve got a real global itinerary set up for Teddy and he will visit Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, the USA, India, Singapore, Australia, and Indonesia!

To learn more about Traveling Teddy you can visit:

travelingteddybear.com

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