Salisbury Academy Skypes Bolivia to talk about the weather

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

Salisbury Academy kindergarten students recently traveled — virtually — to South America to learn about weather.
As part of a school-wide initiative to bring global awareness into the classroom, kindergarten teacher Jan Ketner and assistant teacher Kathey Fisher arranged for students to have a video conference using Skype with Fisher’s daughter, Kari Eller, a missionary in La Paz, Bolivia.
“At Salisbury Academy, teachers and administrators work to determine skills, knowledge and values global citizens will need, then we design courses and experiences to meet those outcomes,” said Head of School Diane Fisher. “Consensus has grown around the core skills students should develop — critical thinking, creativity, character, communication and collaboration. We have found global awareness to be important as well.”
During the unit that focuses on weather and seasons, Ketner and Fisher focus on weather across different continents to teach the students about varying conditions around the world. “Interacting with someone from another country really brings it home to the students,” Ketner said.
During the call, Eller had an associate from Bolivia present to speak to the students in Aymara, her native language, as well as Spanish. The students learned how to say yes and no in Aymara. They also learned about the weather and seasons of the country.
“This gives them an experience outside their everyday world,” Ketner said. “Talking directly with someone in another country is a great way to teach that people across the world have varying experiences.”
“Even in our youngest grades, we are already asking our students to think globally,” said Diane Fisher.