This month, we hosted another free edWeb webinar on The Power of Teamwork Inside (& Outside) of the Classroom. When we look towards tomorrow’s job market, the essential skill sets that students need to develop today are around “the 4 Cs”: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. These skills all underscore the value of teamwork, whether in the classroom or in a (future) boardroom.
A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork. – John Wooden, UCLA Head Basketball Coach
In the webinar, Carrie Willis, a Director of Technology in Redlands, CA, and I gave educators some tips and tricks for guiding students to think about meaningful contributions, communication strategies, and collaboration tactics as they design lesson activities.
We challenged teachers to think about:
- How might we encourage group goal setting?
- How might we model ways for kids to learn their peers’ strengths?
- How might we encourage students to take risks and move out of their comfort zones in being team players?
Carrie and I discussed ways to build a unique classroom culture, from setting expectations to outlining classroom agreements or contracts. We spoke about room design elements that promote communication and collaboration – huddle spaces, vertical brainstorming areas, makerspaces (in cart form!) We reviewed strategies to promote active participation, cooperative learning, and project-based learning. And we talked about formative assessment techniques to feed the feedback cycle.
One of my favorite activities is to create napkin manifesto as a class, a la Silicon Valley style, to document some meaningful mindsets. How can you encourage your students to fail forward and fail fast? And how can we as educators learn continuously from one another. Have you heard of “pineappling”?
We finished the webinar by speaking about how teamwork can be encouraged through our annual Wonder League Robotics Competition. This global (and free!) competition encourages kids in groups of 1-5 to work together on creative problem-solving missions that have a real-world application — this year’s missions take place under the sea in order to explore and protect our oceans!
“I saw so much growth in my students. I had a female student that started my club so quiet. By the end of the season she not only was one of the team’s leader, she will be joining me on my FLL team this year. I also had a 2nd grade boy that had special behavior needs. I promise you I learned his name the first day he was in my club. I did not turn anyone away. I was really worried that he would have issues with the program with his issues. He truly made it my year. He actually became my top coder. So proud of him.”
– WLRC Coach
When you have an hour, do take a moment to watch our archived webinar at your leisure. You can even take a quiz to get a certificate for the 1-hour of seat time from edWeb by joining our Coding & Robotics K-8 community. Enjoy The Power of Teamwork Inside (& Outside) of the Classroom: