April and May 2015 were amazing months for “Ottavo Circolo Piacenza”.Children of different classes at Don Minzoni school were waiting for a special day: eTwinning Birthday, on May 7th .
In our Institution the process of internationalization is continuing through different actions and the eTwinning platform has acted as a springboard and a powerful opportunity of interaction with European schools, both for teachers and children. Currently an Erasmus Plus project is in progress and lots of pupils have taken part in eTwinning projects, getting in touch with different cultures and traditions. That’s why teachers agreed to cooperate and get ready for this special event, involving hundreds of European schools. You know : children like birthdays and parties, they love celebrating and being emotionally involved in what they are doing… A great means to motivate and make them join in.
We planned different activities, according to the curriculum and the age of the pupils, in order to prepare the celebration.Younger pupils, working in groups, decorated handmade kites , each one with a letter as to set up the word eTwinning.
Some classes made posters with the eTwinning10 logo and displayed them in the school hall, to remember parents and visitors the celebration.Other classes planned to shape a human logo showing number ten, considering different options and trying several possibilities to reach an agreement.
Moreover some groups dressed up as the twins of the logo and “Lady Europe” or decided to draw and show the eTwinning birthday on the blackboard.Finally a few classes worked on digital pictures, arranging some Birthday cards, by adding words to the photos and experimenting the use of different devices. It was interesting to collect children’s ideas and let them free to express their creativity, as an extra value, perfectly representing the spirit of eTwinning: give children the chance to cooperate and work in progress, compare solutions, make decisions, be proactive and celebrate their results together with the special event.Although simple, their works made them conscious, once more, that working together is an amusing and powerful way to reach unexpected results. Children felt really involved, because they knew lots of other children all over Europe were arranging something similar. It was like a very big hug, a “merry – go – round”, a “hands in hands” celebration.
All together we were thanking eTwinning on its Tenth Birthday by creating a wonderful, magic world of friendship. Just the aim of eTwinning: join peoples and cultures, overcome differences and make us feel “together as one”. On the following days children were shown the pics from other Italian and European schools, what made them proud to “be in”.
This event was the starting point for our celebrations of Europe Day, on May 9th. On this day we called a press conference, inviting some Council members, among which the one of Education, to give information about the progress of our Erasmus Plus KA1 project, “Open Roads to Europe”.
We underlined the essential role of eTwinning in finding partners for the job shadowing activities and the following eTwinning projects with the partner schools. Important events for our Institution: our school community and our town really felt the sense of European Citizenship!
Summertime was a busy season for two groups of teachers who attended training courses in Britain and got in contact with fellow teachers from different Countries…
A new school year has just begun: we are walking on the European roads, ready to prosecute our journey with the help of our friend eTwinning!
Marisa Badini, teacher of English and coordinator of Erasmus Plus KA1
“Don Minzoni” Ottavo Circolo Didattico – Piacenza- Italy