Dustin and I created another YouTube video this evening and oh my gosh…collaboration takes a tremendous amount of patience…period.
I wonder, do we teachers consider this when we plan for and design collaborative tasks? Granted Dustin and I are at very different ages and ability levels, but working with him on these questions highlighted several areas where patience might need to be developed.
1. What do you do with the student who acts silly in new or unfamiliar situations? You will notice Dustin started out our video acting very silly and then started to talk like a baby. He turned it around after we got started, but it definitely was a distraction.
2. How do we address the varying reading rates and abilities as well as math knowledge and fluency within a group? Dustin, as you will notice is a struggling reader. I believe the silly behavior is his coping mechanism…and this makes me question what other behaviors are manifested within mixed ability groupings.
3. What do you do with the student who gives up? Dustin saw the final question and upon just looking at it gave up. Even though we pushed through, he continued to give up whenever he was confused.
I know there are many variables and as many answers to these and other questions related to collaborative work, but for now I want to focus on helping students, and teachers develop patience.
My gut tells me the answer lies in building relationships and establishing group norms, but I want to do some research and share more details in later Teaching Tuesdays posts.