Category Archives: Business

Adapting, Improvising, Overcoming, Or How to Get Around the System

Extra Credit.  When I first began teaching twenty-three years ago, I liked extra credit.  I was the type of high school student who always did my work, but not always to the best of my ability.  A chance to earn a few extra points to get me from a B+ to an A- would be welcomed.  However, after twenty-three years of teaching, I am not fond of extra credit.  Too many students want something easy to replace an assignment not turned in.

My first year of teaching I thought I had a great idea.  Today, I call it an idea.  I had 100 tests for 100 books and plays.  I gave the students the list and let them read independently to earn extra credit.  My mistake was to not put a limit on the number of works that could be read.

Enter Brent.  He was failing.  He disliked writing.  He was smart.  He took tests on all of the plays on my extra credit reading list and aced them.  And, he did not read them.  How?  He rented a videotaped version of a production of each play!  He followed my rules.  He found a way to beat the system!  Sure, I wish he would have written more.  However, Brent used his brain to solve his problem.  I praised him on intelligence to improvise to pass the class.  And, I changed my rules: students would only be allowed to read one novel or play.  (On a side note, no other student ever chose to take a test on a play.  Brent was the only one to figure out PBS records dramas all of the time.)

The past couple of years I have only allowed students to rewrite essays for a new grade or complete short vocabulary / writing assignments during any free time in class for extra credit.

I know I have readers from education and the business worlds, and I am curious to your opinions.  If you can take a minute or two, I would like to hear what you think about extra credit for students.  Thanks.

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Shopping for Success

Shopping for my wife can be difficult.  It used to be easy.  She loved everything I bought her.  Until after the Christmas of 2010 when I noticed a pile of clothes on the chair in our bedroom.  Since she reminds me to put my clothes away all of the time, I saw an opening to point out her messy ways.  You know, a little what’s-good-for-me-is-good-for-you attitude.

“Hey honey, when are you going to put away the clothes on the chair?” I asked with a smile.

“Oh, those are the clothes I have to return to the stores,” she replied.

Thoughts raced through my mind: “Return?  But, I bought all of those clothes for her for Christmas!  I spent an hour at the mall picking out the best sale items I could find on December 18th.  It’s not like I waited until Christmas Eve.  Why would she return them?  Surely, they fit.”

I had to ask her, “Do you do this every Christmas?”

“Yes, dear,” she replied without thinking.  Then, she noticed the disappointment across my visage and the tears in my eyes.  So, she quickly added,  “I keep some things, but you spend way too much money on me.”

It was too late.  I could read between the fabrics.  It was obvious.  She did not like my fashion sense.  Everyday I am able to wear a shirt that matches my khaki pants.  Women and their fashion ideas can be a total mystery and not even meddling kids and their dog can help me solve it.

Nonetheless, I am glad that our marriage went through this rough patch.  Now, I am ready to take on the challenge to buy her the right clothes.  The perfect clothes.  The clothes that will make her look in the mirror and shout, “WOW!  I will look sooo good next to my husband when he is in his Khakis!”

Thus, today, I started my Christmas shopping on line.  As I was surfing for the latest fashions and sales at Sears and other websites, I found Spanx.com, which sells women’s undergarments and swim suits.  My wife does not need any under garments, and my daughter warned me to never buy mom a swim suit.  I guess that is something a woman has to do for herself.  However, I did find the story of the owner, Sara Blakely, interesting.  So, I quit the banal and tedious job of Christmas shopping to read and learn more about Sara’s story.  It is much more interesting and definitely relates to the freshman experience.

Sara Blakely is the youngest self-made female billionaire in history.  She began with an idea and $5,000.

At the National Association of Professional Women’s 2nd annual networking conference, Sara shared her success story.  Here are TWO of her rules for success I see in working well in education:

 #1. Sara had a driving philosophy from her father: Fail Big. Each day, her father would ask, “So, what did you fail at today.”  Focusing on failing big allowed Sara to understand that failure is not an outcome.  Instead, NOT FAILING involves a lack of trying — not taking a risk to better oneself.  This is similar to Wayne Dyer’s philosophy in his book Excuses Be Gone that I have written about before.

In the classroom, students need to fail.  I do not mean they need Fs on their report cards, but they do need to rewrite or redo assignments.  I have discussed my experiences here and here.  We need to realize people do not attain perfection on the first try.

#2. You Don’t Have to Know Everything: Sara knew absolutely nothing about women’s undergarments, patenting a new product, manufacturing, marketing, product development, website development, online commerce, and more.  She did not let any of this stop her!  She researched what she needed to.  She hired others to do what she couldn’t do.  She attacked every obstacle with energy, desire, and commitment.  She did not make excuses; she solved problems.

In the classroom, students will use the excuses, “You didn’t teach me how to do that, or I don’t know what to do.”  Students need to know how to research ways to write.  Not everything in life comes with directions, for example, my wife and children.  Students also need to realize they have classmates who are better at some of the aspects of editing than they are.  For example, one student may know how to use commas correctly, while another is great at using transitions.  Lastly, we need to infuse the “I Can Do It” spirit into the kids, so they have the energy to try their best.  They need to be able to visualize their success.  After all, what we can see, we can attain.

Now, I need to apply what I learned to my own shopping:

  1. It’s ok for my wife to return gifts.  She does appreciate my trying.
  2. It’s ok if I don’t have great fashion sense.  I can learn.  More importantly, I have a daughter who likes to shop and knows her mom’s fashion tastes!

I hope you find some inspiration from Sara Blakely.  How will you use these two rules in your life?

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15 Ways to Succeed in Business and High School?

I recently read 15 Ways to Succeed in Business, an article by Wendy Pierasall.  You can read it here: http://excelle.monster.com/benefits/articles/2356-15-ways-to-succeed-in-business.

cookies and creamery by cold stone creamery

cookies and creamery by cold stone creamery (Photo credit: pengrin™)

I like to read about businesses for a couple of reasons.  First, my wife and I have owned a private swim club and now a  Cold Stone Creamery.  Reading articles and books have been helping me gain as much knowledge as she already possesses.  After about 10 years, I can confidently say I am half way there.  Secondly, I want to prepare my students for career and college readiness, the latest buzzwords in education.  Funny, I thought we have always strived to prepare students for the future.

Today I have decided to have a little fun, and try to illustrate how an average freshman would respond to the 15 ways to succeed.  Don’t worry world!  Most of the kids will mature and be successful.  I think.

  1. Be a Salesperson.  I have to do what?  I’m not selling anything in English class.  I hate to read and write! You mean a negative attitude can affect my grades or even who wants to work with me?  Why do I always get stuck with the kids who do not do their best?
  2. Delay Gratification.  What does gratificationmean?  Oh, well, I disagree.  Every assignment we do should be for points.  Except the ones I don’t do.  Every assignment, including essays, should be graded and returned the next day.  I need to have my grades improve to get my iPod, iPhone, and iPad back today!
  3. Discipline.  I do work hard when I want to!  Oh, it’s more than just working hard?  Ok, can I go to my locker? My book, notebook, and pen are there.
  4. Take Risks.  I’m here, aren’t I?  Just kidding.  Why do I have use complete sentences?  The essay has to be how long?  Can’t I just read the end of the book? Or just see the movie?
    Cover of "The Hunger Games"

    Cover of The Hunger Games

     

  5. Build Rapport.  What does rapport mean?  Oh, so we are going to do group work and make friends.  I can do that.  You mean building rapport actually is about building respect and a reputation for getting assignments done right?  Can I be in the group with the kid who does this well?
  6. Be a Leader.  Seriously? Nobody is going to listen to me.  Everyone else is smarter and cuter and better.  What if I seem bossy? They might tweet about me.
  7. Be Uncomfortable.  Sure, make me be the leader and I will be uncomfortable.  And, writing is hard. I don’t like to have to revise my essays so many times.  Nobody will be able to tell the difference, anyway.
  8. Inspire.  Who me?  I’m just a kid.  What do I do that is so great?  Other kids have fought cancer, been through tough home lives, face addictions, are athletic, musically inclined, feed the homeless, and even get better grades.  You have to great big things to inspire, don’t you?
  9. Focus.  Related to discipline is focus—the ability to tune out “noise” that can distract you from your goal. That noise could be people who doubt you, busywork, doing too much “social” networking, or perhaps worst of all, the noise inside of your own head of self-doubt, fear, or unrealistic expectations of yourself. Personally, I’ve only heard about these things, I can’t say I know this from experience.
  10. Understand Numbers.  What? But, this is English class!  This makes no sense.  Oh, by the way, can you tell me my grade?  I think I only missed four or five assignments including that project.  It shouldn’t be too low.  It is?  The end of the grading period is tomorrow.  Can I do extra credit? No? That’s not fair!
  11. Analysis. Well, I only missed one assignment – that essay on that book we read.  How can that bring my grade down so much?  I got an 80% on the story I wrote.  Why are you asking me to divide 80 by 2?  Can I turn the essay in tomorrow?
  12. Ask for Help. I do that.  Why, just last night I skyped my best friend.  We talked for hours.  She helped me write the essay.  What does “incoherent, muddled, incomprehensible jumble of poorly punctuated locution” mean?  Why do I need to stay after school for help?
  13. Know Thyself.  I know I hate reading and writing. That is why I avoid it. Plus, I’m not friends’ with that smart girl in class.  So, I can’t ask her to proofread my essay.
  14. Balance Ego with Humility.  I know you are not talking about me.  I always have something to say during discussion.  You can tell I haven’t read the story?  So, it’s not like you take away participation points.  You do?  Oh. That’s not fair!
  15. Persistence.  You mean keep trying.  That takes way too much time.  If I can’t write the perfect essay the first time, then I prefer to procrastinate. I get it done in time. It may not be perfect, but it didn’t take a lot of time either.

Do you have any lessons to add?  How about pretending to be a teenager responding to it?

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How to Be the Best in Your Freshman Year

We are almost half way through the freshman year.  It seemed like just yesterday when students arrived with high hopes and dreams, and a little apprehension. As the weeks progressed, many kids fell into their old study habits.   The old habits work for some; and a few need to change their habits.  In a few more weeks it will be exam time,  and exams are something new to many of the kids. Science teachers will give review packets full of the terms and information they studied all semester.  Math teachers will give hundreds times hundreds of math problems.  History teachers will hand out packets full of questions about who killed whom or what happened in ancient times (when the teacher was a kid).   I will hand out a half sheet of paper that informs kids to use handouts I have already given them or resources they can find on the World Wide Web, which I invented.  (Just reviewing fiction there.)

Besides preparing for exams I have also recognized 5 ways for freshman to succeed:

1. Don’t let fear rule.  It is difficult being a freshman.   You are the new kid, going through changes that can be confusing.  Facing the fear and gaining confidence is the #1 success driver.  Every one of the hundreds of classes I have taught has had a student who started out shy and unsure.  Then, he or she begins to participate in the small groups, gains confidence when others ask for help, and then adds to the whole class discussion.  Too often we think we have to be ready to present an idea to a large group.  Instead, talk to one or two people.  Speak up in a small group assignment.  Others do want to listen.  I remember Janie.  She would was quiet during our first class discussion, but once she was in a group of 4-5 people, she was a born leader.  She was in her comfort zone.  After gaining confidence, she joined Mock Trial and performed the role of attorney in front of many people.

2. Network.  Make friends with successful students.   Schools don’t like to label kids so they give reading groups nondescript names like blue group, red group, etc.  However, the kids know who the better readers are.  Being nice to someone who is better in math or science or English can help a person learn new ways to study.  I remember Jared and Nick, who did not know each other.  They were paired together for a Study Buddy activity.  They became close friends, met others, and their grades began to improve because they enlarged their network and added to their support system.

3. Smile and say hi to people.  Smiling is contagious.  Too many kids walk through the halls or sit in classrooms and feel lonely.  I know from personal experience.  When I was a student, I waited for others to say hi to me first.  At a class reunion a classmate told me she thought I was stuck-up.  I did not think about how others saw me.  I expected others to make me smile.  I realized the happiness comes from making someone else smile.  Now, I say “Hi” to as many students as I can.  Sadly, some kids may go through the whole day without someone talking with them, even for a moment.  The most successful students I see are the ones who smile and say hello to others.

4. Leave  your options open.  Explore topics in classes.  Take time to learn more on your own.  I remember Jenny who enjoyed acting out scenes from Romeo and Juliet in class.  The next year she went out for the school play and got a major part.  Another student, who loved art class, noticed all of the art work depicting scenes from mythology.  He started researching more and more about how different artists in different time periods depicted the gods.  Now, his goal is to work in an art museum.

5. Know what is expected.   Pay attention to what the class wants.  Of course, I am referring to behavior and assignment expectations the teacher has.  However, the others in the room have expectations.  To truly be successful with others, you have to be cognizant of their expectations.  Being the class clown may get you laughs, but it won’t get you classmates who want to work with you, unless, of course, the grade is based on laughs.  The other morning, I had the class answer a question about our reading and present it to the class.  One group had the class clown, a student who did not do the reading in it, and a student who wanted to get a good grade.  The concientious student asked to move groups and I allowed it.  I felt the clown and slacker earned the right to flounder together, with the clown having to do all of the work.  The funny thing is the next day the clown made sure he had his work completed and asked to be in different group.  Will he continue to improve and take his work more seriously?  I hope he does and continues to be a clown because he is funny.  We may be watching on the Tonight Show or watching his TV show one day.

 

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Three Steps to a Better Vocabulary and a New Job

Times are tough.  Everyone is competing for jobs.  Some folks have had to take less-than-desirable-jobs in order to pay the bills.  Do not have trepidation or anxiety.  There is a way to get a better job!  Increase your vocabulary!  Here are three easy steps to accomplish this:

1. Get motivated!  You have to want to communicate effectively.  We learned new words when we were children in order for our parents to understand our whining better.  Then, most of us grew up and became lazy.  I guess most folks are content with being called “nice.”  What spouse would like to share the same adjective as a necktie, shirt, or haircut?

2. Read!  And take the time to look up unknown words!  I loved to read Sports Illustrated when I was a kid.  Rick Reilly was my favorite contributing writer.  I had to use a dictionary when I read his articles to understand his humor.

3. Use a new word correctly in a sentence three times during the day.  For example, tell your boss, “But Mr. Scrooge, it’s Christmas Eve, only an impudent, malicious, old man would make us work.”  Later, when he tells the Salvation Army, “Bah!  Humbug,” remind him, “Sir, you are an uncaring, impudent excuse for a human being.”  And when it is finally time to go home to the family, yell at him, “Take this job and shove it you impudent man without a soul!  I ain’t working here no more!”

I can guarantee that finding the right motivation, reading more, and using new words every day will increase your vocabulary and lead to a new job!

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School is like a Business?

At the start of this school year, I wrote about Jamie Vollmer who shared with our district personnel his great story about how schools are not a business.  I have always agreed with that idea; nonetheless, I do see similarities in the philosophies and methods of running schools and businesses.

Look at what is happening in the country.  The education system is perceived as bad.  The economy is bad.  Some teachers and business people might throw up their hands and give up.  However, most of the educators and business owners I know are not giving up.  I see the smartest ones looking for new ideas, finding ways to keep clients happy, and learning better ways to lead their schools and companies.

Recently, the teachers at our school took inventory of the strengths within our curriculum and the challenges we are facing as we implement the Nation’s Core Curriculum.  We are asking ourselves, “What areas are we weakest in?  Do we need a better understanding of the data we get from standardized tests and our own assessments?  Do our current teaching methods work?  How can we refine our current methods to challenge more students?  What problems might be encountered?  What resources are available to help us solve any problems, teach struggling students, or push students to new heights?”

Business people I know reflect on similar ideas.  They examine their strengths to learn if they are strongest in customer service, customer satisfaction, quality of product, etc.  They ask themselves if they need a better understanding of their numbers or data?  They look at their sales techniques to see if they need some work.   Business owners search for available resources that will aid them in increasing productivity, increasing customer satisfaction, increasing sales, and increasing profits.

An example of the changes teachers and business people are making would be using Twitter.  I know Cold Stone Creamery in our home town tweets sales and coupon deals.  I, and several other teachers, tweet assignments.  Our clients use twitter, and teachers and businesses want to reach those clients in many ways.  We desire to make improvements to be successful.  The difference between the two is the definition of success.  As Jamie Vollmer tells it, teachers can’t throw out the less-than-perfect blueberries.

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How to Have A Productive Meeting

“I can’t wait until our in service meeting today!  It is going to be awesome to learn more about the CORE curriculum we will be using.” exclaimed Bob.

“Like, OMG, it is going to be totally Swag!!!” squealed Robin.

“I concur,”  Tim stated in his big-man-on-campus collegiate voice as he ran to the meeting.

Melissa’s eyes lit up as if she were told she was having triplets, and she shouted, “whoopee!”  

And, young Ben, the new guy in the hall, shouted “Yippie!” as he skipped to the meeting. 

“Wake up Dave!  Dave, wake up!” Sam repeated as he nudged me in the arm.  “You fell asleep during the principal’s introduction and overview on what we would be doing today.”

“Did I miss anything, Sam?” I asked as I wiped the drool from my chin.

“No.”  She basically told us why we were having meetings.

So, That brings me to Rule #1 to a productive meeting.  Attend well rested.  Research has shown taking naps is better than drinking a cup of coffee, and this must be true because I read it on the Internet.

It also demonstrates Rule #2: do not have a meeting to explain why you will be having a meeting.  

These two rules seem like common sense, but we all know that common sense is not so common.  Face it, common sense should have told me that having children would cause me to spend money on toys I don’t play with, go to more doctor appointments for illnesses I don’t have, and  be more responsible by not eating candy for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and pop tarts for dinner.  But, no, I did not listen to common sense.  Of course, I eventually figured it out, after the fourth child.

Luckily, today, we did not have four meetings to tell us what we were meeting about.  We stopped at two.  So, Rule #3: Never have a second meeting to explain why there was a first meeting that explained what the purpose of the meetings will be.   After all, redundancies can be boring.  Let me repeat myself, don’t keep restating the same information over and over again.

After our second meeting, we moved to smaller groups to concentrate on one grade level.  These smaller groups were then broken down further into twos or threes to work on one standard of the curriculum.  For example, my partner and I examined the standard on informational text, three others looked at the literature standard, and another group analyzed writing.  Why was this part of the meeting productive?  One element would have to be the fact that we had one of our own teachers as a facilitator, and she did not try to be a know-it-all.  She took notes to allow others the time to research the answers.  Therefore, Rule #4 is to break tasks into smaller chunks.  Feeling overwhelmed tends to cause some folks to shut down.  In addition, Rule #5 is to utilize your own people, someone who is respected by coworkers.  

Once we completed our analysis of the changes we would need to implement, we were ready for lunch.  Rule #6, of course, is to never try to be productive on an empty stomach.   Public schools provide the opportunity for breakfast and lunch for students because research has shown kids learn better when they are not thinking about eating.  At least, that is what I read in some text-book in college.  I know I work better without a “rumbly” in my tummy.

After a filling lunch of pizza and salad, we returned to our meeting room to share our thoughts.  Rule #7 has to be to allow people to share ideas.  Instead of all of us doing the same work, we outsourced parts to each other, then shared our evaluations.  All of our sharing was completed quickly.  Therefore, Rule #8 is to make sure participants keep it brief.  Do not be afraid to allow the facilitator to thank a person for sharing while telling him or her to sit down and shut up.  Even though the bruise under my eye will heal soon, throwing a book at someone is not an acceptable way to stop him from sharing important information.

Of course, Rule #9 is to end the meeting when the work is completed, not when the time you allotted is over.  By giving the participants the opportunity to work efficiently and expeditiously, they will be more productive in the completion of other tasks, like creating new lesson plans.

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Refreshing Lemonade

Today was presentation day!   The assignment was for students to create a visual and a speech that could be chosen to be presented at our school’s Veteran’s Day Choir Concert.  Despite computer problems throughout the creation process, the first round has been awesome. One student chose to honor our veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan after reading Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers:

As is always the case on the due date of an essay or project, several students swarmed me as if I was wearing dog biscuit clothes, and they were a pack of puppies.  One had to meet his mom at the office because he forgot his flash drive at home and she was bringing it in.  One had trouble emailing it to herself.  One girl’s computer crashed last night leaving her unable to complete the project, and one young man had Internet trouble.  Whatever happened to, “My dog ate my homework, or my brother lit it on fire in the garage?”

After 23 years of teaching, I am prepared for the onslaught of questions and excuses.  Furthermore, I truly understand the computer problems since I have encountered all of them myself.  I assuaged the fear of losing points and assured them that we would get through this together.  True, one or two kids may have been lazy or procrastinated too long, and this behavior will catch up to them eventually.  After all, I do have to move on with our next assignment on Monday.

Whenever one of the kids encountered a problem, several kids offered good solutions.   These kids were earning participation points because they were being problem solvers.  I saw teamwork like the kind our soldiers demonstrate.  The students were watching, listening, helping, and learning.  I believe a few kids are spending tonight redoing their projects because they want them to be better.  Competition can be good.  This is good for business.  The best products or services get the business.

Nonetheless, school is not a business.  This assignment is not completely about the final project.  Yes, the best presentation becomes part of the choir concert.  However, all of the kids enjoy the opportunity to learn, to be creative, and to assist classmates.  This is what makes a school a little different from a business. The school’s product is learning.

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Leadership, Listening, and Learning (and how to spy on your teenage daughter)

Good managers and teachers try to connect with those they are leading.  Learning about a person’s family, interests, or opinions is a good start to making connections.   Placing value on a person’s life outside of the office or classroom makes many of us feel appreciated; consequently, we want to try harder or work better.

I have to admit that during my last 22 years of teaching, I have not always been very good at this.  My first few years of teaching I was only five years older than most of my students.  Therefore, I did not feel comfortable making a close connection.  I still attended sporting events and learned about the kids during structured discussions or the occasional free time at the end of the period.  However, I was not part of the community, nor did I know any of the parents.

My middle years of teaching had me treading water in my own little pond with the births of our four kids.  Nonetheless, connections started to form.  I was teaching my friends’ kids and getting to know the students who were on the summer swim team that I coached.  I even started to see the students in many different places: the grocery store, church, my children’s schools, music recitals, sporting events, and even my neighborhood.

In addition, this year has given me more optimism about making more connections.  Perhaps it is because my daughter is a freshman, and I am curious about the kids she knows.  (To be more truthful, I am very interested in any boys who appear interested in her.)  Another advantage has been changing our schedule from forty minute periods to fifty minute periods.  The feeling of rush, rush, rush has left me and reduced some stress.  Now,  I feel like I can walk around the room and discuss writing skills with students.  These conferences give me the opening to ask a few questions, sit back and listen, and get to know the kids better.

Take time to listen today.  I know I will.

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Ingratitude and Group Projects

Ingratitude.  A noun.  The state of being not grateful.

This was one of the vocabulary words today.  I thought I could count on the students to discuss for a few minutes what they were grateful for.  (Look!  I ended a sentence in a preposition!  see yesterday’s post).

Instead, I began the day with Mary asking, “What’s grateful mean?”  As I tried to hide my original feeling of surprise, which quickly turned to incredulousness, and ended with complete and utter angst that a student would not know the word grateful, another student nonchalantly came her rescue.

“It means thankful,” Scott interceded.

A student helping another student is not anything new.  When I was a student, I had one group project, and it was in my freshman English class.  We created a slide show of whales using a 35 mm camera and slide film.  Then, we found a song of whale sounds to accompany it.  This was our symbolic interpretation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.  I am not sure of my grade, but I doubt it was good since I am still in freshman English.  Of course, all of my other teachers made us work by ourselves.

Over the last twenty-three years of my career, teachers have tried to incorporate teamwork and collaboration into lessons.  As a freshmen teacher, I have had to deal with students being able to get to get together with classmates outside of school.  I have also had to deal with one kid being a slacker, one person doing all of the work , and, of course, the one who could only give orders or negative feedback.  Next, I had to explain my logic in the grades to the parents.  The group project usually ended up with the parent, the student, and myself unhappy and full of ingratitude for the lesson.

I have found the best collaborative lessons to be similar to the impromptu lesson this morning: a student helping a student.  I can expand on the lesson by having each student in a group create a clause to use in a sentence with a vocabulary word or individually revise a paragraph then team up with others to discuss the best revision ideas or have a small group create thoughtful questions for a socratic discussion.

All of these ideas do not require time outside of class, nor do they require a complicated rubric to make sure everyone does his or her share.  These lessons require me to listen and observe.  It is not a perfect system, but neither is the work place.  There are committees or work groups everywhere that have slackers or people trying to make others look bad.  The lack of productivity will catch up with the person.  If a person hardly does any work on his or her own, I would be skeptical that he or she suddenly becomes the model student or employee when in a group.

The best collaboration brings out ideas or leads to more questions.  It is not always about producing a project or product.

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