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.