Mother and daughter collaborate to teach students about sound

6th graders at IMS created a Little Book of Sound for each 1st graders at Lakeridge.

Mother and daughter duo, Karin and Kristin Hummel, are both teachers in the Mercer Island School District who created a collaborative project to teach both of their classrooms about sound.

Karin has been teaching 6th grade at Island Middle School for the past 23 years, while her daughter Kristin is teaching her second year of 1st grade at Lakeridge Elementary School.

“We talked about what was going on in our rooms and everything, and I said, ‘My class just finished learning about sound,’ and she says, ‘Well, we’re learning about sound,’” said Karin.

Karin mentioned how it was unusual for both classrooms to be learning about the same topic and thought that the classes should do a project together.

“I thought about it, and I wrote out — there’s 10 different sentences, and then the kids had to use those sentences and make a picture in the book,” said Karin. “Then we matched them up with students in the class, and then the kids also wrote them a little note on the back of the book or in the last page, and it was just adorable.”

After Karin came up with the structure of the Little Book of Sound, her 6th-graders wrote the sentences out, decorated the cover, and drew pictures in the book.

“They all came up with their own pictures that fit with what the sentence said,” said Karin. “For instance, you’ve got to keep it simple for 1st-graders, so it was like, ‘Sounds can be loud,’ and then they drew a picture of something making a loud sound.”

Karin chose to create the same structure for each book so that students from both classrooms could read aloud together.

“We did go on Facetime with my daughter, and then each person came right up to the phone and then said, ‘Hi,’ so they got to actually see who their partner was,” said Karin.

After the virtual session, Kristin’s 1st grade class created thank you cards for the 6th-graders. Karin said her students valued connecting with the 1st-graders, and said she and her daughter have plans to continue classroom collaborations in the future.

“I forget at that age that they always say, ‘I love you, I love you,’” said Karin. “One of the girls wrote, oh my gosh, ‘I love you’ and then this other boy, he got his and it said, ‘We really like the pictures you drew,’ and then wrote ‘I love you’ like twenty times.”