The Wisdom of Crowds: Sharing Collaborative and Group Work among Middle & Upper School teachers

Moderators: Joel Backon, Choate Rosemary Hall & Bill Sullivan, Suffield Academy

“Groups are only smart when there is a balance between the information that everyone in the group shares and the information that each of the members of the group holds privately. It’s the combination of all those pieces of independent information, some of them right, some of the wrong, that keeps the group wise.”

James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds

As independent educators, how do we create fashion productive moments of collaboration without compromising learning? How do we function best as facilitators during the natural peaks and valleys of group effectiveness? What is the formula for helping our students and colleagues develop collaborative skills? Regardless of the range of our students, how do we design effective group work that balances the needs of overachievers with those working below their potential? Working in groups, you will share your experiences and ideas with colleagues from other schools. Each group will report in their their best ideas and practices, and the entire group will compile that list to be shared with all attendees. Come to the workshop prepared to share information about group projects you have have done in your classes and stories of teamwork in which you engaged with colleagues. By the end of the night, the participants will model the benefits of collaborative work and reinforce the adage: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

  • If you are a Middle or Upper School teacher who wants to learn best practices for collaboration among colleagues and collaborative student groups, please join us for this evening of sharing and help start the conversation by creating one slide of your best examples of group work. Please email jbackon@choate.edu or bsullivan@suffieldacademy.org for the link to become a collaborator. Posting on the Google Slide will make your work appear in realtime here on the CAIS blog.
  • If you have ideas of group work that you would like to know more about by hearing someone who practices such a method, please make a inquiry slide.
  • Please feel free to share other great practices from schools outside our CAISCT Network as we hope to curate best practices moving forward.
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About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
This entry was posted in #caisct, Across the Curriculum, Best Practices for Planning CAIS Event, Collaboration Among CAIS Colleagues, Project Based Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

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