46: Conversation, it’s More than Just Talking

I didn’t know the difference between group work and collaboration, but not knowing was having a detrimental effect on my students. Educators, we have got to create opportunities for rich discussion and collaboration by replacing standard group work tendencies. This podcast episode shares some of my personal journey as a teacher but was inspired by a question I received from a successful teacher on how to know the difference between asking students to do group work versus having them truly collaborate.


  • I couldn’t be everywhere, but had to provide systems and structures for students to follow so I didn’t have to be there
  • Everyone had a role to play and everyone had to play the role for the group to be successful
  • They can’t do it if you don’t model it, expect it, share it, celebrate it and repeat it daily, hourly, every minute
  • Be clear on the goal and ensure there is a system of accountability
  • Stop the group work and start the collaboration
  • It takes planning, it takes thorough design with clear objectives
  • Just like anything new, it takes time to create a new habit for yourself and your students

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About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.