SOL14: Collaboration


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsey for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.



What does it mean to work collaboratively? defines collaboratively as:

1.  characterized or accomplished by collaboration:

collaborative methods; a collaborative report. defines collaboration as:

1. the act or process of collaborating.
2. a product resulting from collaboration:
This dictionary is a collaboration of many minds.
How do you work collaboratively?

Do you use Google Docs?  Google Hang Out?  Zoom?  Skype (some form of video conferencing) Telephone conferencing?  Email back and forth?  Texting? How does it work for you?

Do you focus more on the process or the product?


How do your students work collaboratively?

What devices do they use?  How do they use them?  Does their “quality of work” improve with collaboration? Does extra “talk” up front encourage deeper responses?  Does rehearsal with a partner in a collaborative environment promote higher levels of engagement?

Is their focus more on the process or the product?


Planning for NCTE14

It was truly a pleasure to join a Google Hang Out on Sunday with fellow NCTE14 collaborators:  Julieanne Harmatz, Steve Peterson, Mary Lee Hahn, and Vicki Vinton.  Our conversations interwove both process and product as we shared our thinking about student work and what we wanted to share. The combination of visually seeing each other and talking through our ideas was exhilarating as we added to each other’s conversations and made connections across multiple texts.












No surprise to those that know me; I have a plan that I will begin later this week with some professional development.  I hope to bring in a snapshot view of how the reading/understanding/thinking goes with both teachers and students. Because I am not in a classroom on a daily basis, I’ve been thinking about a progression of events for a bit and found what I believe to be the perfect material to use.  And as always, the plan will be flexible so that learning is the priority so maybe process and product will take a back seat for awhile.


When do you collaborate?  When do you literally have to share your thoughts with others?  How often do you work collaboratively?  What are your personal benefits from working collaboratively?



19 responses

  1. What a wonderful NCTE session idea. I am presenting at CEL and IRC with teachers from around Illinois. Like you, we are collaborating via digital outreach. Working so well! Are you attending CEL this year? I would have loved to be in your NCTE session by only registered for CEL–arrive in DC on Sunday. Would like to meet up if that works.

    1. Thanks, Dea!
      Technology does make life and communication more convenient. I will be around until Monday. Let’s plan to meet Sunday evening!

      1. Looking forward to it!

  2. Fran,,
    Always love collaborating with you. It doesn’t matter the tech we use (although it makes it challenging at times), YOU always comes through and I learn so much. We are going to have fun at NCTE!

    1. Julieanne,
      I think being able to personally “coach” each other in our blog writing for ourselves and the responses of our readers is another great sign of growth!

      We are going to both learn and have so much fun at NCTE! YAY!

  3. The TWT Team is BIG on Google Drive. It is the best way for us to work together in real-time (when we do our Google Hangouts) and when we need to add to documents and update each other without clogging each other’s inboxes. How did we ever live before this incredible collaboration tool?

    1. Stacey,
      Thanks for commenting!

      What DID we do before Google??? Sharing on Drive, not clogging up inboxes, commenting on docs and revising . . . . All of those are reasons to love google!

      Can’t wait to see all of you (5/6) at NCTE plus all the other “Slicers”! ❤

  4. Wow what a great NCTE team. A dream team, really! Looking forward to seeing you there.

    1. Thanks, Anna!

      I am so honored to have such great collaborators! It would not have happened without connections from TCRWP, blogging, tweeting and even slicing!!! Connectivity is helpful!

      Looking forward to meeting you at NCTE as well!

  5. Working at an IB PYP school, collaborative planning for Units of Inquiry (social studies and science), maths and writing is a given. Grade level teams usually spend between 60 and 90min each week (either as a block or split into two sessions during and after school) talking about concepts to be addressed, activities that could be done etc. It’s documented on a GoogleDocs or in a shared school drive. As everywhere, how much one benefits from the exchange depends on the team members. Is it a real exchange of new ideas or just checking off old planners… Nevertheless, with the ‘right’ team members it can be ever so inspiring, bouncing off ideas, deciding to take a leap together, discussing issues, contemplating solutions.
    Have a great time at NCTE

    1. Alex,
      Thanks for commenting here! Team work does so depend upon each of the individuals and their contribution to the whole group – that interdependence is so important in collaborative environments!

  6. Dream Team, indeed – so looking forward to seeing you all present.

    1. Tara,
      So fabulous to be a part of a team of such great thinkers! So looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday as well!

  7. Tammy and I have been collaborating for 20 years –we talk, share, reflect, plan and think together pretty much every day. There is nothing like it!!! When you find a process for collaboration you have the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. Love this piece and the questions you pose.

    1. Thanks, Clare and Tammy!
      A solid working partnership is so critical for learning and growing! (I love questions!) ❤

  8. Google Drive and Hangout do make collaboration so much easier. Looking forward to NCTE to learn about what you and your dream teammates have created!

    1. Catherine,
      It’s always a work in progress! Lots of learning between now and NCTE. So looking forward to seeing you again as well. This has been a great year for meeting fiends face to face! 🙂

  9. Like Alex i work at IB PYP school. We don’t have the same times and structures but collaboration is integral part of our community. What i would like to see happening is more global collaboration between our teachers and the teachers in other countries. Wishing you great time at NCTE.

    1. Terje,
      Wow! I hadn’t thought so much about the need for global collaboration – That may be similar to the needs of our individual states and a need for national and international. Great food for thought. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

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