Sunday, February 5, 2017

There's no "I" in SuperBowl Champ

"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society" - Hall of Fame Football coach Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi is considered one of the greatest American football coaches in history, and one of the best motivators as well. The National Football League championship trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl, is named after him. With the Super Bowl being played today, there are some lessons from each team's effort tonight that can be transferred to our classrooms as well.

At New Tech Network (NTN), we define collaboration as "the ability to be a productive member of diverse teams through strong interpersonal communication, a commitment to shared success, leadership, and initiative." Collaboration during intense moments of problem solving plays a significant role toward successful school performance. So, what can we do to TEACH our students the necessary skills for becoming an effective collaborator? Here are a few resources of activities to support your project planning based on the domain(s) of collaborative skill building you've designed into your current project's focus:

  • Interpersonal Communication - Check out this resource, "Interpersonal Communication Strategies," for building, enhancing, and extending interpersonal communication strategies that can be used any day to teach your content standards. I also love the "digital strategies for interpersonal communication" on pg. 4/5 of this document!
  • Commitment to shared success - In this article, Andrew Miller reminds us how to make group work productive (and not just have kids working in a group). His reminder on "the importance of structure" is so critical to creating the time space for students to gain proficiency on the indicators of this domain on NTN's collaboration rubric
  • Team & Leadership roles - I love some of these 10 minute Leadership Lessons so much that I can't wait to build them into the upcoming PD sessions I'm designing to remind adults of the importance for being aware of the ways they lead teams.  The "Perceptions Exercise" on page 23 would be great as teams are forming (before they actually dig into problem solving together) whereas activities like "The Pretzel Activity" on page 20 are beautiful for teaching students how to take direction from others and improve progress through communication. 

On game day, presentation day, or any ordinary Tuesday, it's important for (you and) your students to remember that success comes down to how you contribute to conversations, work through conflict,  provide constructive feedback to team members, monitor progress of your team's efforts , and so on. Much of that comes together with wins for the team and that builds trust going forward. Are you making sure your student teams are championship worthy? 

Peace, love, and Patriots do it again....

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