Chapter 3: Peer Collaboration
I love when my students work together and I think they do too. We do lots of group work in my classroom and one of my favorite things to do with math is Number Crunchers. This is something that is done in pairs or small groups. Feel free to download these to use in your classroom!
Paul Solarz also shares how he uses "Give me 5" to get the students' attention and for others the get the attention of the class. I've used this as the teacher before but never thought to allow students to do the same. I love this idea! I normally say "Holy Moly" and my students say "Guacamole" to get the attention of the class. But I love the idea of turning this over to the class to use as well. Of course it would need to be modeled and practiced but I can really see this as something helpful in my class
Responsibility partners is another idea I loved from this chapter. This year at school all the teachers had accountability partners. We were partnered with another teacher on a different grade level. We did periodic check ins with each other to see how things were going. My accountability partner and I even got together outside of school to go to the shooting range and have a little fun. Accountability partners is something I intended to do with my class, but I never did. So I think after I get to know my class this year I'll assign responsibility/accountability partners, not sure which word I'm going to go with yet. I think this is great to help the kids feel like they have a peer to check in with to see how things are going or if they need help with something.
Next topic from this chapter that I loved: Strategies for Dealing with Conflict. I've always taught my class to use rock, paper, scissors to solve disagreements. We also have the rule that it is a one shot deal, not best 2 out of 3. This keeps resolution time to a minimum and then everyone is able to get started or continue working. I also use how Paul said he uses Choose Kind. This was new wording for me but this is what I'm always trying to get my students to use and understand. I loved these ideas so much I created a few signs to post in my classroom. Want them? Click here to download my conflict resolution signs.
Finally, Classroom Meetings is something else I was excited to see addressed in this book. We have Community Meetings in my class and so many good things have come from these meetings! I'm planning to host #5thchat on Twitter July 14th. We will be discussing community meetings and student leadership roles. I hope will join me for that chat. I'll share some things I do in my classroom and will be excited to hear what others are doing as well.