Maquoketa High School

Maquoketa Middle School (6-8)

Briggs Elementary (3-5)

Briggs Elementary Students In Action

Cardinal Elementary

Cardinal Students In Action


High School Highwayman

Collaborative Conversations

With the advent of the Iowa Core standards related to speaking and listening, there is a focus across our district on the importance of collaborative conversations. I appreciated my visit to a creative writing class at the high school. Students were involved in a close reading of the poem The Highwayman. In today’s class, students analyzed with partners the meaning of the poem along with a class analysis of characteristics of a ballad, setting the stage for the composition of their own ballads.

When observing collaborative conversations, the value of these are evident and seek to accomplish the following:
1. Clarify ideas regarding what is important regarding specific issues;
2. Allow people to critically reflect with and learn from each other;
3. Increase productivity and ownership;
4. Result in greater creativity and innovation;
5. Encourage evidence-based decision making as points and opinions are supported with evidence.

If you enter each of our buildings, you will see a focus on collaboration and conversation, skills valued in today’s workforce. Teamwork and quality communication skills are important as we strive to prepare our students for the 21st Century.