Advice on Team Building and Collaboration at School

8:04 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Team building and collaboration is a significant part of the culture of any organization.  There are entire professions just dedicated to getting teams to work together.  Classrooms and schools are no different.  This month I have collected advice, tips, and tricks for the teacher on how they build teams and collaboration in education.

I want my students to work with and for each other, not against each other.  That isn't to say that we don't have some healthy competition now and then in the form of review games, but it is not the focus of what I do in the classroom.

Many of the jobs that today's students end up having will require them to work as part of a team.  Because this will be a necessary employment skill, I want to work to build teams within the classroom.

We also must model this behavior by working with our team at school.  I am lucky in that my team works together very well together.


Share, Share, Share! Your team is so valuable -Cheryl from Language Arts for Middle School

I am HUGE on having my students collaborate. I try to change up their groupings regularly and remind them that in life, you have work with a lot of different people. There will be people you like, don't like, respect, don't respect, etc. You have to learn to work with anyone, so I don't tolerate students being uncooperative within a group. -April from Cullom Corner

Make time to get to know your students. Greet them at the door as they walk in, walk around while they are working and ask them questions about their day. Check out more of my team building ideas. -Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog

Looking for engagement, collaboration, and a way to sneak in some content? Check out these relays!
You can use the templates with ANY content! The kiddos are having so much fun they barely realize they're doing any work!- Jamie from Miss Math Dork

We do "Village" discussions. We each bring forward a specific student who is struggling and who we are fighting to help. We give a two minute run down on the current situation, and then we brainstorm strategies. This is not an end all, be all discussion that solves all our kids' issues. It does provide a shot in the arm, some fresh perspective, and sometimes ideas that wouldn't have come about any other way. It also builds awareness in all of us of our student population. We can do it with just grade level colleagues, upper el/lower el, or K-5 teachers all together. Ideally, this happens every month... but you know how it goes....-Kathleen from Kidpeople Classroom


I have two pieces of advice for you for team building too.

1) Have students complete group annotation of texts.  Students read an annotate a portion of text together.  I often follow this up with a group quiz or writing assignment.

2) Create assignments, activities, and projects where students can work together and build those skills.  One of my favorite review activities for collaborative teams is to Build a Board Game.

Student work together to use information from any unit (here we studied women in history) to create a board game to market and sell.


How do you build team work and collaboration in your classroom?


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What the Teacher Wore: Swing Dress Four Ways

5:00 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Teachers are busy people who move around...a lot!  The clothes that we teachers wear is an important decision for our budget, our body, and our classrooms.  This dress from Cents of Style met all three of those requirements for me: budget-friendly, stylish, and comfortable.  Then I styled it four ways to get me to jeans day!

 I have received a complimentary dress for this post, but the words and opinions here are 100% mine!  This post contains affiliate links, and I receive a small commission at no cost to you, should you choose to purchase.

The dress I selected was navy blue, classic and versatile.  The best part is that you can to head over to Cents of Style to get your own swing dress for $21.95 today with DRESS2016.

First up I paired the dress with my jean jacket, favorite statement necklace, and coordinating earrings.

This look is perfect for a full day of teaching and running up and down the stairs.  The jacket provided a little extra warmth as my school has yet to turn on the heat.

This statement necklace is one of my absolute favorite jewelry pieces.  I got in my very first Rocksbox.  The pink is so bright that it adds such a pop to any outfit.

The coordinating earrings are from Cents of Style and come in 20 different colors.  I have them in coral, white, and cobalt blue. 

The mornings are getting colder, and the school doesn't have the heat on, so layers are becoming a must in my wardrobe.  On a whim, I paired my Cents of Style swing dress with my gray puffer vest and black boots.

You can see just a peek-a-boo of my purple leggings underneath.  I was toasty warm in this outfit.  Plus, as any teacher knows, adding a layer with pockets is always a good thing.

I added another piece of jewelry from my Rocksbox to this outfit too: a delicate silver necklace.

This dress comes in sizes small to 3X and in 17 amazing colors.

I am enamored with this dress because it looks good on so many different body types.

For style three I went a little simpler.  I threw on a Cents of Style hedgehog scarf and my flats.  When you are running behind in the morning, this dress is a go-to item because you can wear it, throw on a few accessories, and go.

I just can't get enough of this cute scarf. It has become a regular in my scarf rotation.

I also added my Cents of Style pineapple earrings in silver.  I always wear studs with scarves because of the snag factor and I have enough going on in my classroom.

On my toes, I wore my pink Ballasox, which are the only ballet flats worth wearing in the classroom.  I love them so much that I own three pairs.  Be sure to check out why I adore them.

Lastly, I went with a pop of color and sassiness.

My pink sweater and leopard Ballasox were a great pair for this navy dress.  I added another Rocksbox necklace, and I was off to meet with a student and parent.

Don't forget to head over to Cents of Style to get your swing dress for $21.95 today with DRESS2016.
Other Swing Dress Style Tips
*Wear your new swing dress with your go-to pendant necklace and a pair of heels. It's simple and elegant. Hello, holiday parties!

*Plaid! Add a plaid shirt tied around your waist for the ideal festival vibe.

*This dress is an ideal addition to your favorite ankle boots. 

*Layer a cute vest over your swing dress. It provides interesting texture and contrast and switches up your look just a little.

*Cold weather is coming! Pair this swing dress with a coordinating blanket scarf, add a great wool fedora and ankle boots, and you have a pulled together look that will keep the chill out too.

*Don't forget our other must-have accessory this Fall & Winter - the kimono. Layer a heavier kimono with a little length over your dress to add a bit of warmth without feeling bulky. You'll be right on trend.

The coupon code is DRESS2016 and it will make each dress $21.95 + FREE SHIPPING in the cart.

What color do you want and how would you style it?

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