This past week I had the great honor of doing a video chat through FaceTime with a group of third-grade students in New London, CT. Their teacher, Mrs. Candy, had chosen my book to use in their reading group! And it was called “Buffy’s Reading Group” because it was about me!
Having a teacher choose my book and blog to use in her curriculum was something my mom and I had hoped for. But didn’t know if it would actually ever happen. I was delighted to find out that there was a teacher who wanted her students to learn from me and my book!
Over the past several weeks, I have received questions from the students through comments on my blog and in emails that they sent. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from them and responding to their questions. This week they finished up the completion of their study by doing an interview with me and my mom!
Mrs. Candy’s friend Sally is my mom’s friend, too. That is how we all got connected. Isn’t it fun to meet new people through the friends you already have and know? A great opportunity for your circle of friends to just grow and grow!
There were some logistics to work out for this to go smoothly. Do you know what logistics means? It is when the specific details of an event that involves a variety of people need to be worked out and coordinated so everyone knows just what needs to be done.
My mom and Sally did a couple of practice sessions ahead of time. They wanted to be sure that everything would work properly when we were meeting with the students. And you know what? I was right there with my mom when they were practicing. I didn’t want to miss out on anything!
At first, we tried just using my mom’s iPhone to do the video chat. But the students would have only been able to see me or my mom separately. My mom got to thinking about this and wanted to figure out a way so they could see both of us.
Remember how I’ve told you before that my mom is creative and resourceful? Well then, I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that she found a way for both of us to be on the screen! She did this by using a tripod and her iPad. And then she and Sally did another practice chat to make sure everything worked in just the way my mom imagined.
When the time came Sally called my mom on her iPad using FaceTime. There are nearly 250 miles between where I am and where the students are located. And we could see each other just as if we were together in the same room. Isn’t that cool? I think technology is pretty fabulous!
My mom and I were very excited and all ready to meet our new friends! And we were hoping they felt the same way. When we first got connected with the video chat everyone got in place for where we thought we should be. We checked to make sure we were visible with each other and then got started.
Here is a 4-minute snippet of our 25-minute conversation!
There were five students and they each had several questions to ask. They introduced themselves and then took turns asking my mom the questions they had written on their papers. They had wonderful, well thought out, questions!
For me, this part was the least interesting because I just wanted to be showing the students my skills. But my mom told me that it was important for them to have time to learn more about the things they were curious about and wanting to know.
I started out just sitting next to my mom while she and the students were chatting. But then I was wondering if she was forgetting that I wanted to be part of this video chat, too. So I quietly moved more toward the front of her and lay my head on her lap. She surely wouldn’t forget me now!
After the questions were all answered it was my turn! I was eager and ready! I got to pick up a tissue and a key that my mom dropped. And I showed them how I delivered an item to my mom by either resting my head on her lap or stepping up on her foot pedal.
Then I got to open and close two different drawers. These were the heavy ones my mom always needs help with. And I also opened and closed a cupboard door that is light and easy to open. This was so they could see how I sometimes have to pull and push really hard and sometimes I have to adjust to doing it with less force.
And then my mom moved the tripod and iPad to the other side of the kitchen. She had practiced this part ahead of time so that she was sure she could move it without knocking it over. She just kind of slid it because it was a little bit heavy for her to lift. And she did it just perfectly!
We wanted to change where we were originally sitting so I could show them how I open and close the refrigerator door. I did the little stretch that I always do before grabbing the rope. It takes some effort to tug the door open so I have to get my body ready! I tugged really hard and pulled it open. And then stepped right up on my mom’s foot pedal to push it closed.
I was so excited to be showing my new friends some of the things I do to help my mom! And I was all ready to do more. But it was time for us to be done. I was so sad to say good-bye to my new friends. Our time together went by way too quickly! I hope that maybe someday we can do this again!