Thursday, December 1, 2011
Student Collaboration Begins With Teacher Collaboration
Luckily Jen realized what a great opportunity this collaboration would be for her seventh graders, and she and Beth proceeded with the plans. It took a bit of emailing back and forth to find the best day and time for Beth's kids to travel upstairs to Jen's room, and Jen had to prepare her kids to act as mentors for the fifth grade writers. But the arranging and prepping paid off today as a room full of middle schoolers worked as collaborators as the bravely shared their memoirs with a partner two years older or younger and gave and received feedback about their narrative leads, their conclusions, their word choice, their sentence fluency, the "power of I" (a Nancie Atwell writing rule), their "so what" and so much more.
To think that this opportunity would have been missed if the middle school teachers of language arts had not decided to meet. This group does not have a designated time to meet because department meetings occur in two groups: JK-6 and 7-12. That means that our middle school language arts teachers, grades 5-8, do not meet. But this group found their own time to meet in November. I do hope we will meet again soon.