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Collaboration brings fresh ideas and new perspectives. Just ask Maths teacher, Mr Little! He’s been working collaboratively with the Science Department to bring data to life for our Year 7 students. And judging by their excitement this week, it’s worked!
Collaboration doesn’t happen on its own. It involves sharing knowledge, learning, building consensus, planning, and implementation. And it needs an environment that encourages people to come together, bringing different skills to attack problems that no one person, or Department, can solve alone. Luckily for our Year 7 students, collaboration is something that Mr Little is passionate about!
Before pitching his collaborative project-based learning idea to the Science Department, Mr Little enlisted the help of the English Department. They were more than happy to lend their expertise to help Year 7 construct formal letters to Head of Science, Mrs Woodward, seeking her permission to collaborate. It was a powerful approach. And it worked, because Mrs Woodward loved the idea from the outset.
The Science Department then tasked their Year 7 classes to conduct experiments to measure force. The students took the results back to their respective Maths classes and, working in small groups, analysed the data. They then employed their artistic and creative skills to visually represent their results on big cardboard posters.
This week, the Year 7 Maths teachers came together with their classes in the Big Gym, where each group had an opportunity to display their project on the walls. The titles showed enormous imagination and wit. For example, Don’t let gravity get you down; Keep calm and collect data; May the Force be with you; Data-tastic; Fantastic Forces; and It’s data darling.
Mr Little gave each student a marking sheet and a marking criteria. They then had half an hour to move around the room, asking the spokesperson of each group a series of questions and marking their answers accordingly. The room was abuzz with excitement and it was great to see how engaged the students were in the task, and how happy they were to share knowledge and promote understanding.
Acting Deputy Principal (Academic Learning) Ms Drummond was fascinated to see the projects and enjoyed chatting to the students about their learning.
Studies have shown that collaboration is an essential and sought-after skill in the job market. In fact, strategists predict that in a globally connected world, future graduates’ collaboration abilities will be a make-or-break job skill. Fortunately for our students, Mr Little has plans to collaborate across more disciplines to reflect the real-world environment. Watch this space!