Friday, November 24, 2017

Collaboration You Can Do


I was recently in a classroom doing a digital breakout.  What a fun activity and highly challenging task! No one was able to unlock all the locks, yet most students agreed they'd be willing to do it again.  

We had them working in small groups & we noticed something.  They were working next to each other ... not really with each other.  Many groups appeared to be working on the same task ... at the same time ... in the exact same way.  When one member got stuck, they all were stuck.

As the teacher & I were debriefing, we talked about how to encourage students to work collaboratively.  We agreed - the students have to have the opportunity to practice and improve on their collaboration skills.  One of my favorite collaboration tools popped to my mind.  But it's not a project with rubrics.  It's not a task with work divided up. It's actually a game.  A game that can be ready to be played in a matter of a minute.

Quizlet 

Maybe Quizlet isn't new for you.  But if it is ... wow!  You are in for a life-changing study tool. 

For today, I'm focusing in on ONE piece of Quizlet.  Their game called "Quizlet Live".  Several years ago, I was honored to receive an email one day asking if I'd be willing to try out a game they had created.  We happened to be a point in our unit that a game would work nicely ... but I didn't know anything about this game.  My students were AMAZING - they agreed quickly and were eager to learn the game at the same time I did [what a cool experience on its own!].


Fast-forward to now.  I suggested to my colleague we try out Quizlet with her class.  She found a set of multiplication facts to use and we set up the game.  [As a side note - only a teacher needs to have a Quizlet account to play this game.  Students do not need accounts.]  At the beginning, I explained to her students they would be playing as a team and had to work together as a team to be successful. They each entered the game code on their Chromebook and off we went!  We played several rounds and we did some debriefing after each round.

Can I say I've never see a group of students as excited to study multiplication facts as this group???

Take-aways: adding some "fun" can go a L O N G way in learning.  Quizlet lists out benefits of Quizlet Live on their site. [LINK]
  • Build Soft Skills
    • Work Together - Students work together to find the term that matches the definition - since none of them have all the answers.
    • Enhance Communication - Students lean in, stay focused, and communicate to win. Everyone on the team must contribute.
  • ... and Hard Skills
    • Reinforce Vocabulary - Students work in small teams to learn a Quizlet study set and race against the rest of their class.
    • Accuracy Over Speed - Quizlet Live encourages accuracy over speed.  If a team matches incorrectly, they have to start over from the beginning.
In Summary: If you are looking for a way to add a layer of fun to your classroom and encourage collaboration, try Quizlet Live.  You won't be disappointed ... I promise.

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