Where do you see students struggling to communicate and collaborate while learning? What helps?

On Monday, @rdene915 and @david were kind enough to let me co-host an awesome #formativechat on Twitter with them. It would be nice if we kept the conversation going. Here is one of the questions from our chat. @Certified_Educators @informed_members

Q2%20poster

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Students struggle with trying to answer the question without being perfect. They want the right answer versus getting to the right answer. The growth mindset needs taught first for them to take more risks.

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A2 - Only giving one way to respond can be a struggle so #studentchoice is important motivation can be a struggle so changing it up, creating #growthmindset important

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I have 3rd graders. What I find that has helped is writing questions on the board. I gave them an article to read about Endangered Species.
http://www.k12reader.com/reading-comprehension/Gr4_Wk11_Endangered_Species.pdf
I wrote questions on the board that they could use as Conversation Starters:
What was surprising to you about the article?
What connections were you able to make about the article?
How would you help the endangered species mentioned in the article?
What details about the article do you believe are the most important?

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Adding the resource I shared in the chat, which made all the difference this year for my students. I work in a program that asks students to collaborate every day in all classes, and through the years, we’ve found that the struggle comes from not having been taught explicitly how to collaborate or given the tools, vocab, etc. they will need when the inevitable conflicts arise. At the start of this school year, all our students were taught the collaboration unit, and we continued to reference the skills and common language throughout the year. Of course, there are still issues, but having this shared experience made a big difference.

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Making conversation starters visible is great scaffolding for discussion. It’s great to hear that you are starting this at the elementary level.

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@fichtlis as you’re saying this I can think of specific students in my class whole struggle to even start something because they’re afraid it’s not going to perfect. I introduced coding to my class this week. We’re going to do it once a week and not only is it a useful skill to have but I love that you have to problem solve and there is struggle. I’m really trying to teach my students that struggle and failure are good things.

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@al.mesones sentence starters work really well for my ELLs in middle school and helps them have starting point for how to start a conversation.

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Agreed! I think coding is a great way to help students naturally learn how to self-assess too. They can immediately see how their code changes things (or not) and can alter their approach / research a solution more.

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@mlschnick I use the same technique with my SPED kiddos. They seem to struggle with getting started because they currently don’t have the communication skills to collaborate effectively - yet.

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