Saturday, August 16, 2014

Virtual Co-teaching

Back in May my innovative friends (@ and @MissCollins606) and I decided to combine our fourth and sixth grade classrooms for a co-teaching project.  We called it The Dot Project. Although we are in the same district and meet regularly to discuss innovation, co-teaching was not as easy as walking our students down the hallway to join another class. All 3 classrooms are in different buildings and in different parts of our city.  Our SOLUTION was GHO (Google Hangout).

How did the project work?

Our teacher group met 3 times to plan for the unit.  First, we met during a GHO to plan. What?  A GHO can be used for teachers to plan? Absolutely! I have found it works great for planning when there is not time to drive across town to meet.  Our second planning session was in person and our third and final planning session was via GHO.

The project was built around the 6th grade students giving the 4th grade students advice as they transition to Middle School.  In turn the project enabled the 6th grade students to help themselves be less anxious about Junior High. The literature selected for the project was:
The Dot by: Peter H. Reynolds
This book had a perfect theme for the project.

The Lesson

During the lesson each teacher had a responsibility after the classrooms connected via GHO.
Teacher 1: Delivered objectives and introductions.
Teacher 2:  Played the video reading of the book through the GHO for all classes to watch.
Teacher 3:  Lead a discussion about the story and what students can learn from the story.
Teacher 4: Discussed with the classes the writing assignment and action plan for each classroom.

Follow UP

4th grade students created a Padlet to share with the 6th grade students.
6th grade students created a presentation to share with the 4th grade students.

Would I try this again?  ABSOLUTELY!  I would highly recommend finding a co-teacher (in your district, outside your district, or on the other side of the world) and JUMP.  JUMP simply means quit standing beside the pool wishing and hoping you can get in the water. Count to 3 and JUMP in.  You will have a blast learning, but most will your students.


P.S. International Dot Day is coming up on September 15th.  If you would like to JUMP in the water and co-teach a lesson feel free to comment on this post or send me an email. Happy virtual co-teaching!

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