Tag Archives: collaboration

Back to school – games for collaboration and teamwork

Of course we want to encourage students to collaborate and work in teams – but how does this actually happen?

Here’s one idea to kickstart that idea and keep it going all year long – games. But not just any game! Games specifically designed to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Replace simple “icebreakers” with games that set the standard for positive interaction. As time goes on, introduce other games that pave the way for even deeper group work. Encouraging these kinds of habits needs to start day one, it’s not something to do after students “learn the basics.”

Check out this article – “Why Play Games When There’s Work to Do? by Adam Fletcher of The Freechild Project.

Games can be a catalyst for deeper goals. They can bring both cohesion and energy to any group, and are a welcome addition to a teacher’s “bag of tricks”. Playing games with students and youth groups encourages teamwork, models constructive, collaborative behavior, and develops a shared sense of mission.

Two categories of games are especially helpful in setting a tone of collaboration and teamwork for students.

Cooperative games emphasize participation, challenge, and fun, rather than sorting out winners and losers. These kinds of games teach teamwork, empathy, and trust.

Initiative games have players attack a problem and solve it. They teach leadership, problem solving, and collaboration.

I encourage you to read “Why Play Games…” It’s full of practical suggestions and fun game ideas, but is much more than just a list of games. It includes time-tested information about how to choose them, how to introduce them, how to create reflective activities that further magnify the impact of the game itself, and tons of additional resources.

Teachers who lead student tech clubs know that the success of the group depends on much more than tech skills. Teamwork and a sense of mission result in the “we” being more than the “me” and can take a student tech team to the next level.

This isn’t just for student clubs either. If you want students to unlearn the competitive habits that have been drilled into them and work cooperatively, these games will work in classroom situations too. Collaboration and communication may be “21st century skills” but having students play them out in game situations is a timeless idea.

Give this short article a read and I guarantee you will learn one new thing today! “Why Play Games…” By Adam Fletcher

Selected additional resources (there’s a lot more if you click on the article link):

  • Free guide, So, You Wanna Be A Playa? The Freechild Project Guide to Cooperative Games for Social Change by A. Fletcher with K. Kunst. “This insightful new guide will help community workers, teachers, activists, and all kinds of people find fun, engaging, and powerful activities that promote teamwork, communication, and social justice.Click here for a free download.

Sylvia

PS – If you like this post, why not subscribe in your favorite blog reader or by email or even via Facebook or tweet about it!

Latest MetLife Survey Confirms the Power of Teacher Collaboration

Want to improve teaching effectiveness? Listen to teachers — and make it possible for teachers to spend substantive time listening to each other. Kudos to Metlife for providing important new evidence to support this much-needed reform strategy.

via Advancing the Teaching Profession: Latest MetLife Survey Confirms the Power of Teacher Collaboration.

Global collaboration projects and events from iEARN

Wow, the mailbox was full this morning! Here’s some amazing opportunities from iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) to involve your students in collaborative projects with students from around the world, or for teachers to participate in learning how to integrate global projects into the curriculum. There are even more at iEARN.org. Congratulations to iEARN as they celebrate 20 years of global youth involvement in making the world a nicer place.

WALLS TALKING PROJECT. The idea is to ‘listen’ to the graffiti talk around us (on our walls, doors, desks, chairs, floors, T-shirts, schoolbags, etc.), and to record and share interesting finds. If other interested teachers and students respond by posting photos and related info, this could turn into a nice project of the wall/s/talking in our schools, streets, towns, countries, world. Sketches, squiggles, doodles and other more sophisticated street art around us is the part of public spaces usually walked by, unnoticed by most people. More information | Flickr group | Wiki

SHARE YOUR MAGICAL MOMENTS FOR A GLOBAL ONLINE BOOK. Students around the world are invited to unite in sharing their magical moments in a global online book, showing youth that their personal magical moment is part of a human web that transcends borders is of incredible human value. And, it promotes values such as compassion and tolerance. Youth from Iceland, Zambia, Belarus, Romania, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sierra Leone, Portugal and Denmark have posted their magical moments. View online books and find out more here.

iEARN-THAILAND HOSTS 3-DAY WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS, JUNE 11-13, 2009. Hosted in Bangkok, Thailand, approximately 25 English Language teachers have joined together with iEARN-Thailand Co-Coordinators Sonthida Keyuravong and Patcharee Sridakum, and Tina Habib of iEARN-USA for a workshop on how to integrate iEARN global projects into their curricula. Meet them in the online Teachers Forum.

iEARN-MOROCCO (MEARN) TO HOST 16th ANNUAL iEARN CONFERENCE AND 13TH YOUTH SUMMIT IN IFRANE, MOROCCO, JULY 19-25, 2009. Innovative Technologies and Cross Cultural Dialogue For Quality Education. Participants from 45 countries are already registered: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, France, Brasil, Canada, Spain, UAE, USA, Japan, Mali, Mexico, Oman, Netherlands, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Indonesia,Taiwan, Slovenia, Tunisia,Turky, Kenya, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Argentina, South Africa, Lebanon, Yemen, Israel, Belarus, Suriname, Nepal, Malaysia, Palestine, Iraq, Uzebekistan, Thailand, Pakistan, Georgia, and Poland.

Can’t make it to Morocco? Join the Conference Forum and Youth Summit Forum for ongoing discussions and updates.

Sylvia

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Games that encourage student teamwork and collaboration

Freechild Article | “Why Play Games…” By Adam Fletcher.

Here’s another fabulous article and set of resources from Adam Fletcher of The Freechild Project. The article is about playing games with students and youth groups to encourage teamwork, model constructive, collaborative behavior, and develop a shared sense of mission.

Games can be a catalyst that brings both cohesion and energy to any group, and a welcome addition to a teacher’s “bag of tricks”. Two categories of games are especially helpful in setting a tone of collaboration and teamwork for students.

Cooperative games emphasize participation, challenge, and fun, rather than sorting out winners and losers. These kinds of games teach teamwork, empathy, and trust.

Initiative games have players attack a problem and solve it. They teach leadership, problem solving, and collaboration.

“Why Play Games…” is more than just a list of games. It includes practical information about how to choose them, how to introduce them, how to create reflective activities that further magnify the impact of the game itself, and tons of additional resources.

Teachers who lead student tech clubs know that the success of the group depends on much more than tech skills. Teamwork and a sense of mission result in the “we” being more than the “me” and can take a student tech team to the next level.

This isn’t just for student clubs either. If you want students to unlearn the competitive habits that have been drilled into them and work cooperatively, these games will work in classroom situations too. Collaboration and communication may be “21st century skills” but having students play them out in game situations is a timeless idea.

Give this short article a read and I guarantee you will learn one new thing today! “Why Play Games…” By Adam Fletcher

Selected additional resources (there’s a lot more if you click on the article link):

  • Brand-new (and free) guide, So, You Wanna Be A Playa? The Freechild Project Guide to Cooperative Games for Social Change by A. Fletcher with K. Kunst. “This insightful new guide will help community workers, teachers, activists, and all kinds of people find fun, engaging, and powerful activities that promote teamwork, communication, and social justice.Click here for a free download.

Have fun!

Sylvia

PS – If you like this post, why not subscribe in your favorite blog reader or by email or even via Facebook!

Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge 2009

Ever question why technology seems to have gone missing in so many math and science classrooms? What happened to the “compute” in computing? Wondering what STEM really looks like?

Yes, technology, math, and science can be friends!

Constructing Modern Knowledge is organizing a one-of-a-kind educational event for January 22, 2009 at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy. Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge is a minds-on institute for K-12 teachers, administrators and technology coordinators looking for practical and inspirational ways to use computers to enhance S.T.E.M. learning. Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge is a pre-conference event for Educon 2.1, an innovative conference and conversation about the future of education.

The presenters represent high-tech pioneers and seasoned veterans at the forefront of innovation in math, science and computing. Read more about them here.

Come to Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge and stay for Educon 2.1!

  • Early-bird registration (before December 15) – $100
  • Regular registration – $130

You may register for both Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge and Educon 2.1 with one click.

Sylvia

Children are collaboration machines

I loved finding this blog post, Why Am I Surprised? from mom and tech integration coach Melanie Holtsman. Melanie shares a wonderful anecdote (and the cutest picture ever) about her five year old twins and their Nintendo DSs.

But I was surprised when I heard them giggling at the same time and it occurred to me…if they are playing two different games, then why are they laughing at the same time? I went to investigate and this is what I discovered.

They were texting each other!

First of all, I didn’t know that a Nintendo DS had this feature. Second of all, my twins are non-readers and non-writers. So how were they texting? In rebus style!


I shouldn’t be surprised. This is why I love technology. Kids do things with technology that exceed my expectations. All. the. time.

So – did you see that? These kids are “non-readers and non-writers” but they are natural collaborators and communicators. This is a perfect example of what kids do ALL the time if we set up the conditions, encourage them, and then LET THEM. They will exceed expectations, as Melanie says, “All. the. time.”

Sylvia

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