Teaching Students (and Ourselves) to Work Well with Others

Out of The Box June / Uncategorized / June 15, 2018

 -by Terra Graves-

Do you really know what collaboration is?  Do you know how to teach students to collaborate? This mini-workshop will provide you with the answers to both of these questions.  

PART ONE:  Read the Collaboration Guide*

PART TWO:  Identify the collaboration competencies in your lesson.

  1. Grab a lesson plan you just taught or will be teaching soon. If you are on summer vacation, pick ANY lesson plan that comes to mind.  
  2. Identify collaboration competencies which exist in your lesson plan. (See collaboration elevator at right.)
    1. For example, are students required to work in pairs or groups? (The whole class does not equal a group.)  
    2. If your answer is “yes,” then your lesson would have the collaboration competency level 1 (C1).  
    3. If your answer is “no,” then your lesson would not have any collaboration in it.  Get the idea?
  3. Highlight or circle the parts of your lesson plan you think fit the competencies of collaboration.
  4. Label them “C1, C2, C3, or C4.”
  5. Please note: Your lesson cannot be labeled as a C4 unless there is evidence that C1, C2, and C3 exist within the lesson. (No leapfrogging!)

PART THREE:  Elevate your collaboration competencies.  

  1. Use this Collaboration Elevation Guide to increase the level of collaboration in your lesson plan.  
    1. Look at the collaboration competencies you have identified in your lesson plan.
    2. Follow the flowchart infographic in the link above to help you elevate to the next highest competency.
    3. For example, if you have identified C1, what do you need to do to elevate it to C2?

PART FOUR:  Implement the new lesson plan with your students (if possible).

Congratulations!  You have just added a very important 21st-century skill to your lesson plan! Your students will be on their way to becoming world-class collaborators. Keep this process in mind the next time you sit down to plan and want to include collaboration.  As Flipped Learners, your students are uniquely prepared for collaborating with each other, and with others outside of your classroom/school/district/state/country. It’s amazing that technology allows us to be connected with the world in a few clicks! Prepare your students for global collaboration now! Feel free to share your newly updated lesson plan and your implementation of it, in the comments below!  I would LOVE to see what you did!


Student-Friendly 21st Century Competencies (includes ALL SIX Dimensions)

*This work is adapted by Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada.  Original work:  Microsoft’s Innovative Teaching and Learning 21st Century Learning Design Rubrics

Terra Graves
Terra Graves
Terra has been an educator for over twenty years. She is the Project Coordinator/Administrator for the 21st Century Learning Department in Washoe County School District, NV. Prior to this position, she taught elementary and middle school, supported novice teachers as a full-time mentor, served as an Ed Tech Specialist, and a Program Specialist in the 21st Century Learning Department. Terra is Flipped Learning 3.0 Level-II Certified and a founding member of the FLGI International Faculty.

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