Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rock Our World – An International Collaboration

This spring, Country Day School 3rd and 4th graders participated in Rock Our World. Rock Our World is “an innovative, international and colaborative challenge-based learning project that connects students from all over the globe. Together we create original music, create movies, and celebrate in a world-wide webinar affectionately known as Family Night” (Carol-Anne McGuire, founder).

“Using Apple’s GarageBand, each country creates a 30 second drum beat.  Every Friday, that drum rotates to another country, where the bass guitar is added.  It keeps getting passed along, from country to country.  At each stop, one more instrument is added.  When it comes back to the original country, it has touched students from all over the world! While the music is moving, students have opportunities to meet each other in live video chats to discuss various topics of curriculum” (McGuire). Country Day School rocked under the guidance of teacher Mrs. Tave and skyped with a partner school in Pennsylvania, where even their class pet guinea pig met our guinea pig and llama! Amazing!

This spring, R.O.W. assigned the theme “We Can Make a Difference” and named the challenge-based project as a Poetry Slam.  Under the guidance of Mrs. Levine, CDS students collaboratively wrote an acrostic poem, wrote the music, played the music, and choreographed the video production. 

Finally, with the help of 8th grader, Jared Hirschfield, and Mrs. Siracusa, the video was produced in iMovie, and later sent back to R.O.W. for the Family Night Celebration on May 17 & 18.

On Friday, May 18th at 2:00 p.m., CDS students and teachers gathered in Cottage 4 to simultaneously view  the Family Night celebration on the live webstream on our bigscreen. Third and fourth grade students used iPads and laptops to simultaneously “backchannel” on the social media website Edmodo while watching the program. Six students excitedly and anxiously awaited their turn to be broadcast live for their interview and video showing. When finally came their turn, our students articulated their words well, made Carol-Anne laugh, and we all participated in a simultaneous “dance party!” It was truly amazing!
Fellow “Rocker” teachers and guests on-hand in Cottage 4 included Mr. Gillette, Mrs. Piper, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Metka, Mr. Bosés, Mr. DiAngelus and Mrs. Siracusa. They were so excited to participate in the celebration, and were heard to comment:
“Such fun!”
“I cannot even begin to tell you how impressed I am with the final project.”
“My favorite part was the process and the collaboration between classes, teachers, and schools around the world!  Projects such as these are what truly "make a difference" in the lives of these students.”
“Many congrats!”

As soon as the Spring 2012 Family Night video is made available, we will provide a link here. Until then, “keep rockin’!”

For more information on this Country Day global project, please contact Mrs. Siracusa or Mrs. Williams. Also, check out the Rock Our World website at