PD Discussion: Collaboration and Plugged Classroom



Thanks for checking out the links - here is a corrected one: Seven Norms for Collaboration, and it seems to be a standard because a general search brought up a few versions.

Also in response to your other post - setting the tone is so very key. As Stuck in the Shallow End points out, even if you offer CS, but it’s just a group of 4-5 boys talked to each other at the board, it’s not beneficial for everyone.



I will have the more advanced students help each other out. I will also walk around the room to see their progress. In addition to, I have hapara on my computer where I can track what everyone is doing on the computer.



As you walk around the room to check on students progress, do you have a system to get them to talk about what they are doing and why they are using the blocks they are? Sometimes I keep a set of of guiding questions around each project to use as I talk with students. It has been a great way to model asking questions and getting good feedback.

I’d love to hear how you check in with students are you walk around.


I like to use partners; something like pilot/navigator then have them switch roles.


Mr. Crespo,

Great! Pair Programming is an important skill as students won’t be able to change the world alone. A nice video on Pair Programming can be found on the Videos page in addition to a ton other useful videos.



I put together a unit project called the Memorable Movie Project. I had the students working in groups of three. One student (the Producer) was responsible for story-boarding the movie. The second (the Screenwriter) was responsible for writing the script for the movie. Lastly, the third student (the Director) was primarily responsible for coding the movie in Scratch. The most challenging part of this project was to keep all the team members “busy” at the same time despite the fact the Scratch is not really designed to be collaborative-friendly software, The results of the project were phenomenal! I have attached the rubric/instructions for this project along with a graphic organizer, and a script format.
Memorable Movie Project Instructions.docx (99.4 KB)
Memorable Movie Project Graphic Organizer.docx (102.2 KB)
Memorable Movie Script Format.docx (16.3 KB)


I have a genius bar. I have a banner at one side of the room with some laptop computers set up. When I have students that can particularly good at a task or have completed the assignment early they are asked to be geniuses. Others can then go to them for help. I also have students work in partners for different projects.


I’m with you on this one. Being a “newbie”, it seems that the kids just like to work on their own, with close vicinity with their friends.



Thanks for sharing your project. Keeping members of a group engaged during a project can be challenging. I think that using the storyboarding and script writing are great tasks that you could have a person in the group peer edit/review and keep the folks on task.


I like to have my kids work in groups. That get mad when I first put them in groups to work together, but end up liking it by the end of class. It allows stronger kids to help other kids they might be to afraid to ask the teacher. It also allows for the kids to talk to their peers about the assignments and get other ideas.



I’d love to hear how you set up student/peer work expectations so that it is a positive experience for both students.

I do a lot of Think-Pair-Share activities where the students look at blocks of code and predict what they think it will do and try it out to see if they were correct (the code usually reflects a concepts we’ll be working on). Other times I have students act out some of the harder concepts and that is helpful if they journal what they see happening and how they’d do it in scratch.