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OneWorld Classrooms is a nonprofit organization that builds bridges of learning between the classrooms of
the world. We offer FREE online travel and a variety of opportunities for K-12 classrooms to interact with overseas partners. WELCOME!

FREE Travel and Learn Online Content
Global Connections
Student to Student Language Lab
Make a Difference!

“OneWorld Classrooms* has changed
the way I teach… and enabled my
students to travel to the world without leaving the classroom!” MORE TEACHER TESTIMONIALS

*Formerly the Creative Connections Project.

The mission of OneWorld Classrooms is to build bridges between local and international K-12 classrooms through technology and the arts. In both school and OST settings, we aim to promote global education, foster cross-cultural awareness and cultivate local and global citizenship. READ THE REST OF OUR MISSION STATEMENT



Best Practices



On this page, we will list Best Practices submitted by teachers who have interacted with overseas partner schools and/or used OneWorld Classrooms Travel & Learn Online content in their classrooms. We welcome you to submit your Best Practices to We will rotate entries here and will include some in our E-newsletter, The Connected Teacher.

Making Powerful Learning Connections in the Classroom
Display of artwork by students from Mali at school in Albany, NY.
A display of artwork by students from Mali at a school in Albany, NY. 
At the Kabe, Kola and Fangasso Elementary Schools in the West African nation of Mali, the students learn in French, practice Islam, live a farming lifestyle and normally have very little contact with people outside their village region. Yet, through OneWorld Classrooms art exchanges, they found common ground and built friendship with their peers at the Montessori Magnet School in Albany, NY and the Churchill Road School in McLean, Virginia.

After the Montessori Magnet School's Cultural Fair, which highlighted the exchange and a schoolwide exploration of African culture, one inspired parent wrote, "I am so proud to know (that our) children have a dedicated, thoughtful and creative school community that fills their days with enriched learning and engagement of our diverse world!"

Principal and teachers at the Montessori Magnet School in Albany, NY.
Principal and teachers at the Montessori Magnet School in Albany, NY.

The key to this kind of success: teachers!  Here are some of the best practices the participating teachers used to turn their partnerships into meaningful and educational experiences for their students. 

1. Connect it to the curriculum. Laura Mack's second graders at Churchill Road complete a yearly unit on Mali. Interacting with real children who live in Mali makes the unit come alive. Says Laura, "This has been a truly amazing experience for us!" At Montessori Magnet, in conjunction with their art exchange, Pre-K through 4th grade classes explored African storytelling, geography, language, dance, jewelry making and much more.

Display of African-style jewelry made by students at the Montessori Magnet School.
A display of African-style jewelry made by students at the Montessori Magnet School.

2. Share culture through art and photos. Students on both ends of the exchanges created artwork that depicted various aspects of their cultures. The teachers encouraged students to draw a variety of subjects to maximize the amount of cultural information shared -- and took photos that showed their students in some real-life scenes depicted in the artwork.

Artwork by 3rd grade student at the Kabe Elementary School in Kabe, Mali.
Artwork created by a 3rd grade student at the Kabe Elementary School, Mali.

3. Attach photos of student artists. Attaching the smiling faces of the student artists to the artwork they create makes the exchange more personal and meaningful. Peace Corps Volunteer Jamyel Jenifer (Fangasso) had students hold signs with their names and numbers indicating their artwork; while PCV Laura Schairbaum (Kabe) took photos of students holding their artwork.

Second grade students at school in Mali.
Second grade students at the school in Kola, Mali.

4. Make a display and involve your whole school community. Displays are a great way to extend the cultural sharing beyond the classroom to the whole school community -- and remind students of the friendship and cross-cultural connection they have made. After their exchanges, Laura M. (Churchill Road) and Jamyel (Fangasso) shared photos of their displays by Email -- a great way for students to feel pride in their work and see that it is making an educational impact in another part of the world!

Artwork created by students in Virginia hangs from the rafters at a school in Mali.
Artwork created by students in Virginia hangs from the rafters at the school in Kola, Mali.

Make a difference! Realizing that her partner school was learning about Africa, Laura S. (Kabe) included a letter with her package, explaining the cultural significance of the artwork and photos. When teachers and parents at Montessori saw the display, they were inspired to contribute, not only more student art projects, but a whole computer box full of school and art supplies - much needed resources at Laura's school.

On behalf of all five school communities, many kudos and thanks to Elisa Byrnes (Montessori Magnet), Laura Mack (Churchill Road), Laura Schairbaum (PCV, Kabe), Amanda Dowell (PCV, Kola) and Jamyel Jennifer (PCV, Fangasso) who coordinated the exchanges at their respective schools! Thanks, too, to all teachers, principals, students and parents whose many efforts made the exchanges great successes!

Students from Kabe Elementary School in Kabe, Mali.

Students from Kabe Elementary School in Kabe, Mali.