Sunday, January 18, 2015

Collaboration: It works for students and for adults

Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary defines collaborate as, "to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor." We at FHS recognize the importance so much that it is built into our weekly schedule every Wednesday. We are finding new and different ways to collaborate. Many of us are now collaborating using technology via Google Docs, Google +, and Twitter. Students are also collaborating using Google docs. This does not mean that traditional face to face communication is gone. In fact, it is increasingly important for us to find time for our students to work together and collaborate in person. So many business leaders today comment that one of the "soft skills" that are needed to be successful in today's job market is the ability to collaborate and work in a team. "Employers want employees who play well with others -- who can effectively work as part of a team. That means sometimes being a leader, sometimes being a good follower, monitoring the progress, and working with others across the organization to achieve a common goal," says Lynne Sarikas, the MBA Career Center Director at Northeastern University.

The more that we are developing situations within and outside of the classroom for our students to collaborate, the better prepared they will be for their futures. We need to not only encourage students to communicate and collaborate, but we need to model and facilitate what successful collaboration looks like. I have seen this work well in classrooms with a "fishbowl" approach. The fishbowl works with one group in the center of the classroom working through a task out loud while the rest of the students are circled around listening and taking notes. 

Additional collaboration is occurring with our teachers as well. The English Department just finished the second Plan, Observe, Debrief cycle of the year with Tammy Hall. The math department just completed their third full day of training with Tremain Nelson. The English department is working on their Four Phase Lesson planning while incorporating student interactions. The math department is focusing on creating a Data Driven Instructional Approach. 

Below is a great example of students working collaboratively in Ryan Clemenson and Lynn Bocca's co-teach English class. These pictures capture the culminating day of the lesson where members from each of the smaller groups joined to form larger units. Students were now "experts"on their information and were sharing that with the larger groups. Students had to "teach" each other.  (Notice how easily our new furniture lends itself for group work.)

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! Inspire, Engage, Excite, Lead, Foster, Create, Empower!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


No comments:

Post a Comment