Tag Archives: collaboration

#SOL19: Collaborating


“How can I help our students continue their writing work? What do I need to know?”

Silent fist pump.  Huge silent cheer.

Collaborating with all staff that work with our students is sometimes daunting.  How can we make support services more seamless? It takes conversation between adults and students. Choices. Work. Fewer absolutes. More choices.

We’re making sure the same resources are available for students, no matter what their working location is. English Learning support. Special education support. At risk support. Support spaces are limited. Chart paper could maybe hang on the back of the classroom door.  Here’s an example of our “first-draft collaborating thinking” to make sure the students have access to supports . . . if needed or when needed.  Here is one example built on a file folder that a support teacher is using so language, instruction, charts, and tools are the same across classrooms.

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Portable Folder with Session 1 Up the Ladder Narrative

How are you sharing supports? 

How is that working for teachers?

How is that working for students?


 

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In Every Child Can Write, Melanie shows examples of bulletin boards that display tools and charts that students can access as they need them.  This post extended that across classrooms for students and teachers who provide additional support. Last week’s Blog Tour is summarized here.  The winner of the free book for this post was Kelsie Elias.

Check out the posts here:

  • Blog Tour Stop 1 with Clare Landrigan – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 2 with Kathleen Sokolowski – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 3 with Paula Bourque – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 4 with Lynne Dorfman – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 5 with Fran McVeigh – Resourceful Link

FYI:  I reviewed an advance pre-publication copy of “Every Child Can Write”.

 




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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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.

 

Collaboratively

What does it mean to work collaboratively?

Dictionary.com defines collaboratively as:

adjective
1.  characterized or accomplished by collaboration:

collaborative methods; a collaborative report.
Dictionary.com defines collaboration as:

noun
1. the act or process of collaborating.
2. a product resulting from collaboration:
This dictionary is a collaboration of many minds.
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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.

ncte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

 

Professional Development Model



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 is professional development?

Does your answer include a focus on student needs to drive decision-making, and student learning as the basis on which professional development is planned, implemented and evaluated?  If your answer also includes a focus on Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, please keep reading.  Leadership is also an important principle of professional development, whether it be the instructional leadership of the principal or the teachers within the building.  Simultaneity is another important principle to continue as no one action in school improvement occurs in a vacuum. Participative Decision Making would be a final principal for ongoing sustained professional development designed to improve student learning.

 

Do those principles sound familiar?

In Iowa, they form the chevron at the top of the Iowa Professional Development graphic pictured here.

Iowa PD Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the core beliefs in this model?

o All students can learn.
o The purpose of professional development is to increase student achievement.
o Professional development should be collective learning by all teachers and administrators with an emphasis on improving instruction.

The cycle of professional development includes many familiar steps:

  • Collecting/Analyzing Student Data
  • Goal Setting and Student Learning
  • Selecting Content
  • Designing a Process for Professional Development
  • and a mini-cycle that includes Training/learning opportunities; Collaboration/implementation; and Ongoing Data Collection/formative assessment
Cycles – Training/Learning, Collaboration, Formative Assessment . . . . .

With a focus on tight alignment between curriculum, instruction, and assessment, this model parallels many Professional Learning Community cycles including the functions of data teams.  The “name of the organizing framework” is not nearly as important as checking to ensure that all elements are present within any professional learning group!  Leadership needs to focus on how and when collaborative time can be provided so teachers can work together. The training includes modelling and gradual release of responsibility as the participants take over the leadership role.

Additional ideas from the Iowa Professional Development Model include:

To be able to transfer new learning into the classroom, teachers need multiple opportunities to see demonstrations, plan together, work out problems, rehearse new lessons, develop materials, engage in peer coaching, and observe each other.

Often, learning opportunities need to be interspersed with classroom practice so that questions that arise from early implementation efforts can be responded to in a timely manner.

. . participants are provided with multiple demonstrations of the teaching strategies within the model . . .[and] multiple
opportunities to practice the teaching behaviors. . .
Professional development must be designed to be sustained over time. The initiative must be designed to last until implementation data indicate that the teachers are implementing accurately and frequently and student performance goals are met. (Joyce and Showers, 1983, 2002; NSDC, 2001; Odden, et al., 2002; Wallace, LeMahieu, and Bickel, 1990.)  https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/IPDM_Guide.pdf

 

What elements are part of your professional development?
How do you know when your professional development model is really effective?  
How do you know when it is NOT effective?
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