Posts tagged ‘collaboration’

#21stedchat Couldn’t Receive #bammyawards Without All of You

“Perhaps the greatest threat facing all educators today is the relentless national criticism of America’s public schools. The national narrative that is driving the negative public perception of education is leading to a decrease in public confidence and calls for reduced financial support. Today, educators face intense scrutiny and criticism, while what is right in American education is largely ignored.” Bammy’s Creators

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It is hard to believe David Prindle and I started #21stedchat in August of 2012, almost three years ago!  We started the chat because we wanted educators to create a positive 21st century learning environment for students by sharing resources and ideas that has worked in our classrooms and educational experiences. We have been more than pleased with how well it has gone and it has truly made me a better educator.

To this day David and I  have never physically met. We come from different worlds, David is a high school Forensic Science and General Chemistry teacher in MI, while I have taught mostly elementary in NC, but that doesn’t matter because along with all our #21stedchat members we all care about doing what’s best for students. Each week we have a different themes to discuss and in case you haven’t joined us for #21stedchat, it takes place every Sunday from 8:00-9:00 PM EST on Twitter.

We are humbled and honored to be nominated in the best Twitter Chat Community category.  We were nominated by the academy and we couldn’t have done it without all of our #21stedchat members. We want to thank you and ask that you please take a few minutes to vote for us here:  

It Takes a Village to Educate a Child

The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline award that identifies and acknowledges the good work being done all across the education village. The Bammy Awards was created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes, the impact of high-stakes accountability and the intense scrutiny that today’s educators face.

The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition of the collective contributions being made to educate children, encourage collaboration in and across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field.

The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can’t do it alone and don’t do it alone. The Awards aim to recognize the collaborative nature of education, to encourage respect in and across the various domains, to raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field and to elevate educators, education and the value of life-long learning in the public eye.

Preventing Social Loafing in the Classroom

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” by Mattie Stepanek


Many times in the classroom when a group of students are collaborating on a project, we see one or maybe two students not pulling their weight or working to their potential. This is called, Social loafing. Social loafing is the tendency to reduce individual efforts when working in groups compared to the individuals effort expended when working alone (Williams & Karau, 1991). Social loafing can also happen within online groups as well. How can educators prevent social loafing in the classroom? Here are my top 5 ideas on how to prevent it.

1. Create rubrics. Set expectations for the project with a rubric but also include a team work component. Have students evaluate themselves as a group before turning in the project, this allows for individual accountability for the group as well.

2. Create reasonable sized groups. Making sure groups sizes are not too large will help with social loafing. Groups sizes should be between 3-5 members, to see the most productivity.

3. Have the students develop rules for the group. Setting rules at the beginning will help all group members achieve the goal. I would give 5-8 minutes for the students to decide on the rules of the group. This allowed them to take ownership of the group along with teaching them real word skills. If you want, the teacher, can also create the rules and assign the jobs for each group member.

4. Model and teach students how to use accountable talk. Accountable talk refers to the ways that educators precisely encourage their students to think deeply, articulate their reasoning, and listen with purpose. There is a great book called, Comprehension through Conversation that helps give you strategies for you to model and teach students to have these rigorous conversations.

5. Highlight individual and group achievements. Everyone wants to feel accepted and highlighting students strengths and achievements will help show that they are a value to the group. I do this by facilitating around the room and making sure each time I go to a group, I make a comment about a different team members progress.

I would love to know any other ideas on how to prevent social loafing in the classroom. Please share your ideas in the comment section.

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