If you were to walk into Samantha Dane’s classroom at Butcher-Greene, you would think students were taking a test. They were hunched over their MacBooks, focused and engaged, occasionally asking Mrs. Dane for help. But walk up closer and you would notice it was actually their first online collaboration project with Tyler Stolberg’s class at Belvidere.
Both 5th grade classes were working on an activity for PLTW Launch where students were asked to label the parts of the body that defends itself from infections and diseases in Google Draw. Each student from Dane’s class was partnered with a student from Stolberg’s class. These students had never met.
The purpose of the activity was to get students comfortable with collaborating online with each other and it was exciting, totally engaging, and also frustrating for students. Most 5th grade students have never had a project where they had to work on a project with someone that wasn’t even in the same room with them! Students had to figure out ways to communicate effectively with their partners in order to successfully complete the assignment. There were a lot of comments of “I don’t know what my partner is doing!” to “What is that picture my partner added to the assignment!” in which were great learning moments where Mrs. Dane would guide them to politely ask their partners to basic digital etiquette of showing them not to communicate in all capital letters.
For the first time doing a digital collaboration, these 5th grade students did great! Mrs. Dane and Mr. Stolberg plan on doing many more collaboration projects and the skills they are teaching their students are invaluable for college and potential careers in their future.
Weekly updates on the great things being done by schools, teachers, and students in the Grandview School District. A great way for us to learn from each other!