Collaboration Pie

This teaching strategy helps organize five pair-share activities during a class period or over a couple of days. In addition to organizing student interactions, "Collaboration 'Pie'" moves students out of their comfort zone by asking them to pair with five different people in class. There should be a new purpose for each meeting. The purposes can be given all at once or they can be explained each time students meet. Students should identify all five classmates before engaging in the first pair-share activity.

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Collaboration Pie Teacher Guide

Teach the skill

Interactive Lesson

Assess and track growth

Performance Tracker
Teacher Reflection

Plan your lesson

Planning Journal
Lesson Planner

Differentiate and support learning

Reading Rubrics
Guide To Group Work

Collaboration Pie Lesson

Classroom ready student presentation.

Step 1: Check In and Review

Student Presentation

Collaboration Pie
Check In
Discuss the following questions and
record youranswers in your notes.

New to the Skill

  1. What do you know about this skill?
  2. Predict how you might use the skill?
  3. Where have you used it before?

Experience with the Skill

  1. What are the steps to this skill?
  2. Why is this strategy useful?
  3. How does it help you?
  4. How do you use this strategy in other classes?

What Teachers Do

Asks a few questions to assess what students know about the skill.

Teaching Tips

Questions can be answered individually or in pairs/small groups.
Have students use the skill with little to no guidance in order to assess what they know.
Have students explain each step either verbally or in writing.

Step 2: Instructions

Student Presentation

Collaboration Pie
  1. Use your Collaboration Pie to record the names of five people you will work with.
  2. Write your classmates’ names in the center ring.
  3. Meet with your “Collaboration Pie” partner when it is time and complete the task together.

What Teachers Do

Go over the instructions and explain the activity.

Teaching Tips

Consider modeling how to complete the activity/steps before students do it on their own.
Consider having students complete the activity/steps in pairs or small groups.
Consider printing or projecting the Guide and/or Diagram to review with students.
Consider using a timer to pace each activity/step.

Step 3: Set Expectations and Explain Grading Criteria

Student Presentation

Collaboration Pie
  • Meet with your partners at the right time.
  • Listen for directions and complete all tasks.
  • Bring all necessary materials to each collaborative meeting.
  • Stay on task and contribute to the discussion.

Options for Formative Assessment

Collect student work and use the rubric to assess how they are applying the strategy.
Call on random students to share their ideas with the class.
Walk around the room and assess what students are saying and doing. This informal assessment takes only a few minutes but can give the teacher valuable information.
Ask students to share their work under a document camera so that all students can see what has been done.

What Teachers Do

State the expectation for task completion and review how students will be assessed.

Teaching Tips

Consider printing or projecting the rubric and go over grading criteria with students.
Model expectations so that all students are clear on what is expected of them.
Consider having students demonstrate the expectations for their classmates.

Step 4: Students reflect on their learning

Student Presentation

Collaboration Pie
  1. What did we do today (or the past few days)?
  2. What was the purpose of this lesson?
  3. How did this skill (or lesson) help you meet the learning objectives?
  4. How did today’s learning build on what you already know and are able to do?
  5. How will this lesson help you in the future?

What Teachers Do

Close the lesson with a debrief. Give students time to think about and process their learning.

Teaching Tips

Select one or two questions from the menu and have your students discuss the questions in groups of two to four.
Have students write their reflection on a lined piece of paper or in a journal.
Ask students to chart their progress, assess growth, and set new goals for the next lesson.
Strategically select scaffolding techniques to maximize growth.
Rehearse skills as often as possible to ensure students move toward mastery.

Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

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