Bookmarked Does a quiet classroom quietly harm children? (

I think every classroom and school has a duty to this generation in particular, who spend so much time isolated on their phones and online to make it a weekly, if not daily, norm to say hello to somebody new and look to work on something together. The challenge to my high school’s staff was to just choose one lesson per two-week timetable so that across subject areas every student might have 15% of lessons where the class is mixed-up and speaking to others is normalised. In a short space of time, this regular practice during learning can change expectations and remove the fear and anxiety towards meeting, greeting, and working with anyone you’re with at any time. 

Richard Wells goes beyond the well-meaning quiet classroom and puts out the challenges to consider allocating time for students to practice ‘working with others’. He suggests that not getting students to engage outside of their usual groupings because they hate it becomes a self-perpetuating myth.

For me it says so much about what it is we consider important. It also reminds me of the work of Sherry Turkle and her argument that we need to reclaim conversations through unitasking.

The trouble with talk begins young. A few years ago, a private middle school asked me to consult with its faculty: Students were not developing friendships the way they used to. At a retreat, the dean described how a seventh grader had tried to exclude a classmate from a school social event. It’s an age-old problem, except that this time when the student was asked about her behavior, the dean reported that the girl didn’t have much to say: “She was almost robotic in her response. She said, ‘I don’t have feelings about this.’ She couldn’t read the signals that the other student was hurt.”

The dean went on: “Twelve-year-olds play on the playground like 8-year-olds. The way they exclude one another is the way 8-year-olds would play. They don’t seem able to put themselves in the place of other children.”

Bookmarked Why Teams Fail (Leadership Freak)

#2. Failure to deal constructively with frustration, disappointment, and conflict.

Relationships always deteriorate until we learn how to navigate and resolve dark emotions.

Destructive strategies include clamming-up, blowing up, or withdrawing.

Teamwork always degenerates when unresolved issues percolate.

Dan Rockwell provides a series of reasons why teams fail. For me, failure to deal with frustrations stood out the most.
Bookmarked Island Survival: A Cooperative Game | Mrs Fintelman Teaches (

This one will sweep them away. I play Island Survival with year 4, 5, and 6s either at the beginning or end of the year and it is always a hit! They often ask for it again. It’s a great game that allows for problem solving, justification, reasoning, creativity and cooperation.

Emily Fintelman shares an activity designed to help students work collaboratively. What I like is that it is as much about the solution as it is about the process. In some ways it reminds me of the use of different ‘ingredients’ with the Iron Chef challenge. I was also left thinking about ATC21s‘ focus on collaborative problem solving.
Listened CM 097: Sam Walker on Creating Outstanding Teams by Gayle Allen from Curious Minds

Sam Walker lays out his findings in his latest book, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force that Creates the World’s Greatest Teams. Initially, he expected to find a magical combination of factors such as exceptional skill, brilliant coaching and remarkable strategy. Instead, he discovered something completely different: the 16 teams with the longest winning streaks across 37 elite sports succeeded because of a single player — the captain of the team. These captains were not only not the best player, but also possessed all or most of seven characteristics rarely associated with great leaders.

Sam Walker argues that successful ‘captains’ are not the usual. In his research, he identified seven key behaviours:

they are relentless
they are aggressive
they are willing to do thankless jobs
they shy away from the limelight
they excel at quiet communication
they are difficult to manage
they have excellent resilience and emotional control

Moving forward, he suggests dropping your preconceptions about leadership, looking for those who deflect praise onto others and are focused on team goals, even if this is critical of current practices. This has many correlations with the work of Leading Teams.