I Have a RAP Partner, Now What?

So now that you have a Read Around the Planet partner*, what will you do next? I’m working on some materials for my teachers and also a few of you have emailed this question. So here’s some tips. If you have any more, please share them!

  1. First, of course you should review the RAP Teacher Packet, or the World Languages Teacher Packet.
  2. Look over the Ideas List on the TWICE page.
  3. The photo gallery from past years is another place to get ideas for fun visuals and how to organize students.
  4. Use this student job list to involve all your students. (Thanks to Kim Pearce, Gatesville ISD, TX.)
  5. Plan for a way to celebrate the geography of your connection (even if you’re connecting within state). Show a map. Tell a bit about your area. If you have lots of connections in your building, make a school map for all the connections you’re doing. Take the opportunity to teach geography skills!
  6. Ideas from last year’s RAA blog entries: snow ball fights and books, stretching half way through, acting out books, share the weather & poetry, hats are fun, Spanish songs & poems, and songs.
  7. Still need more ideas? Check out lesson plans written in my online classes and the Jazz workshops, especially the Language Arts and Foreign Language lessons.
  8. Most importantly, talk to your partner teacher via email or phone. Just a few conversations will make your connection smoother. But don’t stress if you can’t get ahold of them either. We’ve had successful connections when the teachers meet for the first time in the connection and negotiate right then who is going first. It’s just better if you can talk to each other.

If you run into any scheduling issues (which almost always happens with this project), be sure to review the tips for resolving scheduling conflicts. One year some of our RAP connections in MI finally happened in May!! So hang in there with your partner until you make it happen! If you need encouragement in your misery of rescheduling, review these previous posts: Top Ten Reasons a VC Gets Cancelled, and When Things Go Wrong.

Feel free to share these tips with your teachers!

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About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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