During the pandemic, most people learned that students didn’t need to be face-to-face to collaborate with the tools built into Wixie. Teachers and, if your site allows, students can use the Team feature in Wixie to set up multiple students to work on the same file, or to work together with a student.
If schedules don’t sync with differing cohorts of learners, or even if you just want more flexibility, you can still encourage teamwork and collaboration with team activities that work asynchronously. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Asynchronous team projects can help build number sense and flexible mathematical thinking when one student's work pushes or extends their teammates. Activities that showcase different ways to group numbers to reach the same quantity help students build confidence in their unique mathematical ability when they see multiple right ways to answer a problem.
In the Using Money template, each student drags coins from the middle circle to total $3.50. But once one student is finished and has labeled their square, other students can no longer use exactly the same set of coins.
When students have to come up with a new combination, it reiterates that quantities like 50 cents can be made up of 2 quarters, 5 dimes, 10 nickels, or a combination of coins. All of the answers are different but still are correct.
Helping students see that fractions are all equal parts of a whole, but that each whole can be divided in many different ways, continues to build fluency with numbers. Help students build this fluency with templates that require dragging existing fraction bars or ask students to fill blank space(s) with paint tools.
Students can also challenge their teammates to solve a problem or challenge, such as guessing a tangram shape, recreating a tangram shape, or designing a different pattern.
English Language Arts
Many students have already used a cluster diagram to identify character traits. You can assign a cluster or character traits diagram to a team of students for a range of partner work. For example, students can alternate adding different traits, using their partner's ideas as inspiration for their own, or as a challenge to extend to something new.
You can also have students challenge each other by adding a trait or two and then having their teammate find evidence in the text to support (or refute) the trait. Each student simply adds an equal number of traits and evidence from text, such as traits on one side and evidence on the other.
You can use asynchronous (or even synchronous) partner or team projects to challenge students with vocabulary building and writing as well. For example, challenge a team to find synonyms for common words, such as "said," or identify the literal and figurative meaning of idioms. You can use poetry templates like this Kindness Poem to challenge students to riff off of or extend their partners thinking.
Many students are familiar with the game telephone or even folding paper to write a tag team story. Create a Wixie project with the first line or beginning plot to a story on the page. Set up a team with one student and ask that student to add a page to complete the line or sentence and illustrate. Remove this student from the team and add another student to continue the story.
You could also have a pair of students team up to write and illustrate a comic! For example, one student can do all the writing, while the other designs the illustrations. You could also duplicate the page and then add teams so students can reverse roles for a new story or the same story. Students could also alternate on each panel - write, illustrate, write, illustrate, and so on.
Students can also extend or challenge another student in collaborative asynchronous art projects. In the Draw This Challenge, students write text-based directions for drawing with space on the page for their partner’s resulting artwork.
Students can also use another student's drawing as inspiration for their own. For example, students can design peer-inspired circles using the Creativity Practice template. They could also complete squiggles drawn by a teammate.
You could also have one student draw an object and have their teammate, or teammates, respond by drawing their own version of the same object. For example, one student draws a superhero and the other draws the sidekick. If you feel they need something to get them started, try t-shirts, or even nesting dolls.
Create a telephone-style class sketchbook by starting a team project with one student. After that student has completed their sketch, add a different student to the project and direct them to use the first drawing as inspiration for their own sketch. Continue the process of adding and removing students until each student has had a chance to create a design or sketch based on the previous student’s work. Share the URL to the final project with students and families.
Combine disciplines and use a game-based approach
You can also use a game-based approach for building thinking skills. For example, have students use hieroglyphic letters to create a cartouche with a hidden message for their teammate.
Have students pack a suitcase with clothing for a specific type of weather or location and then have their partner use the suitcase as inspiration for their own suitcase vacation story.
Collaborative asynchronous activities work best when one student's work or thinking can be used to challenge or extend another student's work or thinking. You can even add ALL students in your class to one project for group thinking and questioning sessions. For example, use a bulletin board template for a class check-in or to create a Wondering Wall that collects student thinking and questions after watching a video or reading a story.
Teach your students how to use the Microphone tool and Video button to record messages for their teammate. You can also encourage them to share their thinking with text in the form of a speech bubble, so other students know it is a note and not part of the work itself.
While all of these activities could be done together in real time, they don't need to be for success. Collaborative projects are powerful in real time, but asynchronous team projects also provide opportunities for fun, team building, and thinking.