After a professional development trip to Colombia during the summer of 2017, Global Travel and Exchange Programs Director Daniel Lopez helped to create a virtual exchange between Colorado Academy and Gimnasio Los Caobos (GLC), an independent K-12 school in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.
This cross-divisional and multi-disciplinary project included a pilot group of eight CA faculty members who, with the help of GLC Head of School Jennifer Klein, were matched with GLC counterparts. Each pair designed activities to incorporate into a yearlong curriculum.
Kindergarten teacher Leslie Webster, in partnership with her counterpart at GLC, created a stuffed-animal exchange. Says Webster: “My class decided to send ‘Piggie’ from Elephant and Piggie, a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Mo Willems.” The class in Bogotá sent an “oso de anteojos,” or “spectacled bear.” The Kindergarten class in Bogotá named it “Panela.”
“Each child will take Panela home for a few days and write and draw about the animal’s adventures at their home,” says Webster.
In Middle School, math teacher Jason Koza has been collaborating with his counterpart to create a math game. “She has been doing mathematical projects where her students design a game. I will have my students play the game and offer feedback,” says Koza.
In the Upper School, Meg Hill’s Spanish class—along with her partner class in Colombia—is reading Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario. “Once finished, the students will hold a ‘virtual book club’ to discuss their impressions and share their reflections,” says Hill. “Ultimately, students will take a look at the theme of immigration from both a U.S. and Colombian perspective.”