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Collaboration to Nowhere? Report Shows U.S. Teens Rank 13th Internationally in Team Problem-Solving — but Only 35th in Math

The 74 Million – Laura Fay

“Despite America’s international reputation for frontier individualism, U.S. teens turn out to be team players on a global scale, scoring well above the international average on a newly published assessment of collaborative skills. U.S. students ranked 13th out of 52 countries on a section that measured “collaborative problem solving” on the Programme for International Student Assessment, known as PISA, in 2015. The results were released last week. Cause for celebration? Not so fast.”(more)

Teachers: How to use your voice for a positive school culture

E-School News – Jennifer Abrams

“Moving from the classroom into the role of a teacher leader and a coach was a transition, to say the least. I recognized I was credentialed in teaching students English language arts, but didn’t have a credential in communicating effectively with adults. I took workshops and courses on facilitation and coaching, but the idea of being a professional in a learning community who was an effective group member as well as a leader continues to be something I am growing into everyday.”(more)

Give Teachers Credit: They Know Learning Is Social

Ed Surge – Brad Spirrison

” The enthusiasm shared by educators who understand that social media will forever impact their lives and practice is very reminiscent of the vibe expressed by dot-commers two decades ago during the first wave of the Internet boom—this is a very good thing. I’ve served as both a journalist and participant within each movement. My job is to interview and survey the pioneers, investors and stakeholders who drive technological change, share their stories, and collaborate with very smart people to build and distribute tools that help everyone else get involved.”(more)

To Build Teamwork, Breakout EDU Challenges Students to Think Out of the Box

Ed Surge – Chrissy Romano-Arrabito

“I was on my way to my new gig as an elementary teacher one morning when I first heard the term “PBL paralysis” on a podcast. Erin Murphy and Ross Cooper, authors of Hacking Project Based Learning, were using the term to describe the hesitance that teachers feel when jumping into Project Based Learning (PBL), a hands-on model which encourages students to learn through doing. Their advice? Start with a small project and go from there. I decided to take their advice, beginning with a simple project for my 3rd graders around designing balloon-powered cars. But what started out as promising quickly went south. Balloons weren’t inflating, cars weren’t making moves. While I observed my students, I realized the main reason they were struggling was that they simply weren’t working together as team. There was no collaboration and there certainly was no effective communication. In some groups, students were downright mean to each other.”(more)

The Importance of Preparing Students for Life After Graduation Through Collaborative Learning

Education World – Joel Stice

“Kathy Murphy, a seventh-grade math teacher in Worchester, MA, often has both students and parents question her about the value of her group work assignments. It’s only after presenting them with the challenge of explaining what they already know to a peer that they see the value of collaboration. “Even the kid who thinks they are the top student can learn something from the other students,” Murphy told Edutopia. Few problems in the real world are solved by a single individual, and teaching through collaboration in the classroom presents a number of benefits that will stay with students long after they graduate.”(more)

Teacher collaboration leads to Common Core math success

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“Fifth-grade math teacher Wei Zhang moves her hands in small circles with her palms up, coaxing her students to think about the math problem on the board. “This way makes it easier to certain people,” Zhang said as she explained how to set up an equation that included both addition and multiplication using brackets. “Do you have to do it this way? No. What are the other ways you have learned?” It’s a lesson in learning math the Common Core way – using multiple methods to come up with the right answer. The state standards require students to think critically as they solve problems – and math test scores at E.M. Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect the impressive growth that students have made during the past two years.”(more)