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CES Third and Fourth Graders “Meet” Iowa Pen Pals via Video Chat

pen pals Gerald Aungst’s third and fourth grade Challenge classes at Cheltenham Elementary “met” a few of their pen pals from South Tama County Elementary School in Tama, Iowa, face to face on Monday via an online video chat.

The students asked each other questions about their communities and schools, and discovered many differences between them: Tama is a small rural town; Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, is more than an hour away; and a popular travel sport in their school is archery. The students, however, did pick up on similarities: Tama students enjoy some of the same music and video games as Cheltenham students, and their school day is similar to that at CES.

CES became involved with South Tama by virtue of Aungst’s being an adjunct faculty member at the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, which hosts an international email discussion list for gifted teachers. This past fall, several list members expressed interest in connecting their classrooms with others around the country and Aungst jumped at the opportunity to partner with another school. The Cheltenham classes will be writing more letters to their pen pals and hope to connect with them again by video later in the school year.