The Building Blocks of Collaboration: Partner and Small-Group Chats (Grades 5–6)

Children learn a great deal, academically and socially, by collaborating—working together toward common goals. A good way to help students begin developing collaboration skills is by teaching them how to exchange ideas, information, and opinions as they converse with partners or in small groups. Partner and small-group chats require complex skills best taught in the Read More »
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Magnetic Friendships

As a kid, I was fascinated by magnets: the force they exert, the way they could push and pull through tables, windows, and papers . . . sometimes without even touching! Now…
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Partner Sharing in Morning Meeting

If you visited my classroom during Morning Meeting these days, you’d probably see first graders working with partners and using the conversation skills we’ve been working on all year. We’re now doing…
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Partner Greetings in Morning Meeting

By now my first grade students are pretty good at chatting with a partner. They know how to pair up quickly and how to decide who will go first. They sit knee-to-knee…
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Building Community One Child at a Time

Grafton Elementary School has 750 students in grades 3 to 5. With over 200 children at each grade level, it's easy for children to feel invisible, especially in spaces beyond the classroom,…
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Teaching Children How to Converse

These days, curriculum often recommends using "partner chats," "turn-and-talk," and other one-on-one conversation strategies to help students reflect on and deepen their learning. Although it may seem like a simple thing, chatting…
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First, Partner Skills

This year didn't start off quite as I'd planned. I'd hoped to start teaching conversation skills right at the beginning of school, but once I met my new class, I decided that…
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