Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Collaboration....Workshop Wednesday

Oh my goodness...only two more days after today until I am free...
and the kids are free from me!
It needs to HURRY UP does.
I'm linkin' up with my super duper awesome friend

Today's Topic: Collaboration
*I'm sorry I don't have pictures...I had to leave
school suddenly this mornin'.
Jerm's dad is in the hospital in Dothan
and I'm passin' time in the waitin' room.
(I'm thankful for free wi-fi)
I'm not a good, I am armed with
Macbook, iPad mini, iPhone and
chargers for all of them!

Back to collaboration:
Oh man...this is one of my FAVORITE things
to do and talk about.

You've heard me say a million times that I 
live in a pod settin'.
Several years ago, I was movin' from 1st grade
to 3rd grade.  I did not want to move classrooms
even though I would be next door to a Kindergarten class.
A colleague told me it was inappropriate to have a testin'.
grade next door to a little kid class.
I looked at her like she was CRAZY.  
I think I might have even told her as much.
This made NO sense to me.
Why would someone:
#1: Tell ME what to do?
(I'm bossy...bossy doesn't work on me)
#2: Put boundaries on a class?

I'm not an "inside the box" type of thinker.
I am goin' to push the limits as much as possible.
So...knowin' that...I'm sure you can imagine
what my brain was doin' thinkin' about bein' a
3rd grade teacher next door to a K class.
*We could have readin' buddies. (Win-win for both groups)
*We could be fire drill buddies. (Big kids wouldn't have time
to talk because they would be worryin' about lil' buddy)
*My kids could run stations for K as a reward. (Teaches
responsibility and supports positive behavior)
*K kids could have someone to look up to (role-models)

I didn't get my way though and I had to divorce my pod
and move to another pod.  
I was NOT happy.
Luckily, my best friend was in the divorce with me 
and we actually got to move
together to a new pod. 
We liked our old was a hard move.
Since then...our grade levels have changed a few times.
The bestie went back to little kids 
and I went to even bigger kids.
We have proven EVERYONE wrong.
You absolutely CAN have big kids next door to little kids.
We had a 1st and 5th grade class with the accordion wall open
a majority of the time.  
The 1st graders and 5th graders fell in LOVE with one another.
Everyone snot-sobbed when the big kids graduated 5th 
grade and moved on to middle school.
The kids learned so much from one another
and more importantly...we were able to model
for them all the time what it was like to work with a friend.
As they say...two heads are better than one.

Here's my chance to brag on someone else...they
aren't bloggers and they haven't made products,
but they have made a me!
I would not be the teacher I am today without
my bestie and podmates.
We are all different.  
That's the beauty of it.
We can share an idea and they can piggy-back,
branch off of it, or shoot it down altogether.
We think together, we discuss, we collaborate.
Collaboration helps creativity.
I'm convinced.

Some of the best teachin' moments I have had, have occured
through collaboration.
Collaboration with teachers, collaboration with classes,
collaboration with students, and collaboration with parents.

My kids sit at tables...yep, even in 5th grade.

Because we are 21st Century Learners
(my bestie wrote this list for our class websites
and posted them for us)

*Students are workin' in teams
*Workin' collaboratively to realize products created by a team
often can be better than those made independently
*Simulatin' today's workplace with a balance of
teamwork and self-reliance
*By workin' together, students are contributin' members
of a group yet recognize their own individual
strengths and talents
*Solvin' problems by participatin' in group discussions
respectfully, acknowledgin' others and their thoughts
and comments
*Sharin' a workspace to promote teamwork, problem solvin',
and social skill development
*Learnin' to use technology and resource skills together
to become critical thinkers and learners

Pretty much the only time kids aren't collaboratin' in my room...
durin' testin' and silent readin'

That's it.
I'm a believer of collaboration.
I don't think anyone could ever get me to shift my thoughts on this.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


  1. Sending prayers to the family member in the hospital. I'm glad you are armed with technology and chargers! Good luck!

    Pinkadots Elementary

  2. Collaboration is important on so many levels. It works with all grades as long you have a staff with the ability to be flexible. It sounds like you have that type of environment!
    I hope Jerm's father is ok!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  3. Is Jerm's dad okay? Is this a complication from his surgery? I'm sending up some prayers for you all right now! Are you back in GA?

  4. So sorry about Jerm's dad! And I LOVED your post, so just hush now. :)

  5. What an awesome post! I love your attitude toward collaboration. And you are right -- the big kids and little kids have A LOT to offer each other. Question for you -- if your kids sit at tables (love this idea!), where to they keep their books, supplies, etc?

    We have two days and A WEEK until we begin break. I am sure the kids are looking forward to being away from me too! ;)

    Having good thoughts for you and your loved ones in your time of waiting--
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  6. I am with you, I would not be nearly as creative without collaboration. I have been lucky enough to work with some great friends over the years, and I love getting the call..."What do you think about this idea?".

    My break is still fourteen long days away, but then I am headed to Orlando and hopefully some warm weather!

    Hope everything goes well for Jerm's dad.

    Forever in Fifth Grade

    1. fun that you will be going to Orlando! I can't wait to hear about your trip!

  7. I LOVE this! Thank you! Enjoy your break - you deserve it.

    My Carolina Classroom

  8. I love collaboration in the classroom, and I can recognize how it's sometimes difficult for the kids to get used to working with others....their teacher sometimes has a hard time collaboratin' with her team of teachers!

    Two days until your Spring Mattress Break! I mean, your Spring Break ;)

  9. I love love love your collaboration 'mantra' on your classroom vacation might even have to borrow it...basically the basis for my robotics class. Hope Jerm's dad is doing okay, waiting is the worst!

  10. Great post, Ali! Lots of good points made. I actually let my kids work in groups yesterday and we all lived. ; ) They did a great job with their group project, I may actually let them do this again. Ha ha.
    Hope all is well....sending good thoughts to the hospital.

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  11. Sorry to hear about Jerm's dad! Hope all is well! This was such a great reminder of why it's important for teachers and students to collaborate! Enjoy your break!!
    A Tall Drink of Water


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