What does collaboration look like in the classroom?
Teams are empowered to find answers and solve problems on their own while the teacher serves as a guide to keep them on the right path. Students are tackling open-ended, complex problems or tasks that they are unable to solve individually. Students are responsible for one another's learning as well as their own. Students work together to synthesize, produce and create something that would not have been possible alone.
2nd Grade Collaboration Project
Science Collaborative Project: What is oobleck?
Second grade students at Woodland Meadows were asked to collaboratively solve a problem using their science skills on matter. This was no ordinary problem though, it was based off of the Dr. Seuss story Bartholomew and the Oobleck. The story presents the problem when the King asks his royal wizards to make something new fall from the sky and when oobleck, a sticky green substance, begins to fall the next day the townspeople and even the King find themselves stuck in it! The second graders were tasked with finding out what oobleck is and presenting a solution to the townspeople of how to get rid of the oobleck from the town.
Students worked in teams to observe, describe and test the oobleck using several tools. They then use their notes to create a plan for the townspeople and presented that plan to the rest of the class.
Why teach collaboration?
Today's workplace demands collaboration. It is standard practice across many disciplines. The problems that we are tackling in today's world are too big and multi-faceted to be solved by any one individual. Technology has opened the doors to new ways of collaboration as people across the world connect and work together daily. The new Common Core State Standards place a large emphasis on the ability to work in a team and collaborate with others to problem solve and think critically about deep topics.
Common Core State Standards Used
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.