“Let’s Work Together”

Ok, so I am showing my age, but that is the song that I kept thinking of this week. The question I kept asking myself was, “how can a teacher NOT collaborate with other teachers?”
Back in the 70’s when I first started teaching, we would collaborate with other faculty about reports that had to be completed, schedules, and other non-teaching matters. To ask for help was a sign of weakness and a cause for the principal to come down to your room for an observation. I quickly learned NEVER to ask for help or ideas form others. Please remember, this was before Pinterest and Google, so in order to get ideas, you had to rely on store bought idea books that were probably NOT written by teachers. Creativity was often at a standstill.
As I reflected last week, I had hit a lull with my enthusiasm and creativity over the past few weeks. So, I had to bare my soul to Silvia and Andrea and confess that I really needed some help and guidance. As usual, they were there for me and gave me the boost that I needed to proceed with newfound energy.
Here’s what we “cooked up” together:
Silvia and I are collaborating with the Fifth Grade with a project on Jamestown. We started brainstorming with them on Thursday about different ideas. (Of course, we sort of led them in a direction that we had been thinking about going.) What an exciting discussion we had with the students. The students verbalized that the project had to be great because as on student stated, “We work for the world now!” The best thing that happened was one of my boys said, “This was the best Social Studies class, ever!” That did it. I was energized to continue.
The other problem was that I was at mental “low ebb” with my math classes. I had shared this feeling with Andrea and she started doing some searching and shared some fantastic ideas with me. One idea was so simple, but I had never thought of it. You give the students a number and have them create a word problem that gives that number as the answer. I did the exercise with my Fourth Grade and some of the word problems they created were fantastic. On the other hand, I saw some weaknesses in other students that I had not noticed before, such as basic understanding of putting an equation together.
The other idea, which I intend to try next week, is at the end of a math lesson, have the students create an equation for the skill you taught. Have them put it on a stickie note and place it on the wall on the way out of the room. This is a quick assessment as to who understood the lesson and who didn’t. Amazing idea!
Andrea also found a website that describes how teachers can incorporate the idea of the “Daily 5” into the math curriculum. I can’t wait to try this idea next year.
I am once again motivated and excited to teach thanks to the collaboration with other professionals. How did I ever surviving teaching before in the “dark ages”?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


February 2013
    Mar »

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers

%d bloggers like this: