I felt it was very valuable in that we are
an isolated Eskimo Village on the Yukon River and the network was a window
to the world to youngsters who for the most part haven't been further
from home than Bethel or perhaps Anchorage.
Russian Mission School
Russian Mission, Alaska
Learning Circle participation was a very important part of our social
science curriculum last year and I found certain elements of its impact
on my students to be most interesting. I thought it would improve their
geography and writing skills as well as their awareness of the similarities
of people all over our planet, and it did.
What never entered my mind was the change in my students'
behavior when communicating with their Learning Circle. My kids didn't
want the other students to know they lived in Juvenile Hall! They wanted
to be normal!
Usually these kids have a false bravado and brag about
their criminal aspirations. It was so unusual for them to deny this.
I was fascinated.
The attitude prevailed all year with few exceptions and
they actually presented real goals to the students from other classes
such as mechanic, carpenter, nurse's aid and probation officer. This
was a far cry from drug dealer and burglar!
H.P.B. Carden Court School
I would like to say that in the 4 Learning Circles which
we have participated in, each one progressively helped our students
with (especially) their self esteem and responsibility, ability to work
in a team, and effective use of technology. Some students otherwise
shy about expressing opinions and feelings have really come out of their
shells and openly, willingly, discussed cultural differences and traditions
with other students in far removed places, an opportunity they would
not have otherwise had. Since they are graduating seniors, I really
believe this experience will be especially valuable when they go on
to college .
Lodge Grass High School,
Lodge Grass, MT
Teaching English is more alive, interesting and rewarding
when taking part in Learning Circles.
Martin Lichte School,
Gymnasium Nordenham, Germany
My students really enjoy participating in Learning Circles.
We read last year's publication to build excitement. We share with our
parents a copy of the last year's work and they can't wait to see their
own child's name in print. I've checked with past students, and their
publication is cared for and cherished--they won't give it back! Yet,
when studying in their new grade, they come back to us to see if we
have any messages that can be used in their class.
Last year's parents have even asked about the network
this year, and remarked about the wonderful publication! School board
members ( I sent them copies) have remarked how great the program is.
PTO has asked us to present our work. Our local library has added a
copy of the publication and will be getting a copy this year.
This class geared up differently than last year's, somewhat
slower, and yet, once they started the creative writing projects, they
couldn't get enough to write, or read! They went nuts with poetry books,
rhymes, mysteries, plays.... and that led into illustrating, and the
art teacher got involved. And we overflowed down the hall,... and the
other 4th grade class wanted to know all about it (and why weren't they
My class cherishes copies of each message received. They
'bid' for print-outs, and take them home as important 'mail' to be kept.
Again, the parents are involved, reading and questioning the kids. I
can't count the times the kids have used the map on the Learning Circle
bulletin board. Any time a geographical-type question comes up in class,
someone jumps up and looks on the map. I didn't do it, the Network gets
the credit! The kids are just involved!
The class has been watching the pile grow for 3 weeks
now, as I run off copies of the projects as we receive them. They can't
wait to assemble the final publication! They know they each get a copy,
and they know that next year's class will be awed by their work. The
kids feel really good about it all. Me, too. Thanks!"
Garfield Elementary School
The experience has been very positive, we have worked hard
enjoying our work and feeling a greater commitment than in normal class
activities. We realize that our English is good enough for communication
with people around the world. We are very satisfied with the amount of
information that we have collected but what we have liked best is the
contact with teenagers of far away countries an what we have learned about
them: We have found differences but also many similarities. Students from
Liceo Scientificao "G. Marconi" Via Cosntitenete