Academic Culture

Synergy

The neighborhood where my students come from can be full of negativity. My students need to learn how to support each other and accept the mistakes that come with the natural process of learning. Synergy is a strategy that is a core element of my blended model; it defines and reinforces the behaviors that successful teams use to work together to overcome a problem. Synergy has four basic expectations: 1) Push each other's thinking; 2) Share the load; 3) Use Accountable Talk; and 4) Move with speed. I use these expectations in a quick evaluation of each group every time we do group work, and the "winning group" receives a small prize, which reinforces my academic and social expectations and incentivizes friendly competition.

Strategy Resources (2)
Students In Action
 
 
 
Poster
 
 
These are the Synergy Squares, the system I use to track which groups show the most synergy. When the final box of a row is filled, that group receives a prize and it starts all over again.
 
Students In Action
 
 
Poster
 
 
These are the Synergy Squares, the system I use to track which groups show the most synergy. When the final box of a row is filled, that group receives a prize and it starts all over again.
Daniel Utset-Guerrero
Holmes Elementary School
Miami, FL


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Fifth grade
Similar Strategies
Collaborative Student Groups
Peer Learning

Through peer learning, students work together to practice skills and complete their independent practice. Through constant positive narration and coaching over best practices in peer learning, students are developing the skills needed to successfully collaborate and learn from other students. 

 
Learning Apps
Stephen's Digital Content and Tech Tools

There are an infinite number of digital content providers and tech tools and education programs a blended teacher can choose to use in his classroom. Check out how and why Stephen uses specific digital content and ed tech tools!


 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Stephen's Model Overview

In my school, students use a lab rotation system where they go to a computer lab for set amounts of time to work on online content through sites such as Lexia and ST Math.  In my own class, I also use a station rotation system, where groups of students spend time learning in different ways.  Online sites like Khan Academy and FrontRow help to differentiate the content, collaborative skills make learning social, and teacher interventions help me to address misconceptions. My students gain valuable digital and character skills while they manage their own learning.  My model has fostered perseverance and independence among my students that I know will help them to be successful in their lives.

Number of Students: 17 students per class

Number of Adults: one teacher; one paraprofessional (20 minutes per period)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 90 minutes with teacher; 90 minutes in Learning Lab

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Khan Academy; Google Classroom; Google Forms; Front Row; ST Math (in Learning Lab); DreamBox (in Learning Lab)

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Chromebooks (1:1 ratio); SMARTboard

Key Features: station rotation; lab rotation; student agency;individualized learning paths

 
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