uLearn2016- Breakout 4-Collaboration 101: warts and all

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PTC5-show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning

Breakout 4: Collaboration 101: warts and all

Abstract:The walls have gone! The teaching team has been established.  Now go forth – teach together, plan together, co–exist together, learn together, have fun together, cry together and don’t forget to raise student achievement … together.

In this informative session you will hear ‘frank’ and honest reflections from a team of teachers as they enter the 3rd year of their collaborative teaching and learning experience.   You will hear the ups and downs, and the successes and the frustrations of teaching and learning in a Year 1-2 Innovative, Flexible Learning Environment with 61 enthusiastic and exuberant young learners.

Some key points this session will aim to explore include:
• Why is open, honest and respectful communication important?
• How important is it to create a set of collaborative norms?
• How do we plan, teach, assess and survive with 61 students … together?
• Iugo Planning Tool
• Student tracking, data walls
• Reporting collaboratively
• What does learning and student agency look like with 3 teachers and 61 students?  Hear about Daily 5 and Daily 3 – (the nuts and bolts of our literacy and numeracy)
• What is easy and more importantly what’s hard about collaboration
• Our ePortfolio journey with See Saw
• How to keep parents informed in real time – See Saw and Class Dojo

Come along and listen, learn, ask questions and … hopefully get some helpful takeaway tips.

Learning outcomes:
Delegates will:
– develop an understanding of how to foster collaborative teaching and learning practices with your teaching teams
– learn how planning, teaching and assessment can ‘work’ within a flexible learning space with 61 students and three teachers
– learn how Year 1 and 2 students can have ownership over where, when and how they learn
– explore how teachers can keep parents informed about their children in ‘real time’
– discover the importance of developing a ‘shared understanding’ of what collaboration means

Presenter: Shirley Bailey

Organisation: Te Kowhai School

Bio: Collaborative teacher and Leader of Learning at Te Kowhai School. I am in my 7th Year at Te Kowhai School. 2016 is my third year working within a collaborative teaching and learning environment. I am privileged to work alongside 2 amazing teachers everyday. We teach a lively, exuberant bunch of 61 Year 1s and 2s. I am a passionate and reflective teacher who is always looking for innovative ways to improve the learning experiences and outcomes for students.

Presenter: Nicki Grey 

Organisation: Te Kowhai School

Bio: Collaborative teacher at Te Kowhai School. Nicki is an experienced teacher who has worked at a number of different schools (ranging from very low to very high decile). This is Nicki’s third year working in a collaborative teaching and learning environment at Te Kowhai School. She started her journey in two single cell rooms working alongside 2 other teachers. Nicki is now in a purpose built flexible learning space where she enjoys teaching and learning alongside others every day.

Presenter: Cherie Cutler

Organisation: Te Kowhai School

Bio: Cherie is an experienced teacher and reading recovery trained. She has recently returned to the classroom full-time and is enjoying working in a purpose built flexible learning environment with 61 Year 1 and 2 students.


Key themes:

  • Started with working in single-celled
  • When the walls come down, collaboration was another ball game
  • Teach together, plan together, co-exist together, raise achievement
  • Every journey is different
  • We may not have it all together, but together we have it ALL
  • Before we can collaborate need to be on the same page, don’t have to be the same, but have shared vision
  • Growth mindset- using Dojo
  • http://www.dots.co.nz/
  • Learning community names instead of Room numbers
  • Hold our ideas light: be prepared to change, reflect, being questioned and challenged
  • Small things from organising stationary list
  • Planning done on iugo- https://www.iugo.co.nz/Er




What does this mean for my practice?

Communication is key especially when collaborating, team teaching and working closer with colleagues. I would be interested into looking further into Dots and running a professional development day to start the year of next year during one of our teacher only days. I would like to share this with the staff and get them thinking about how they communicate with others.




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