Julia has so many fabulous books that help teachers set up a wonderful, caring classroom environment that is was hard to pick one. I decided on TEAMWORK Isn't My Thing, and I Don't Like to SHARE! because I am beginning to work with a new group of kiddos. I love for my students to work in groups, and I wanted a way to introduce the concept and begin building a team spirit within those groups. This book was perfect!
Synopsis: RJ has to work in a group to complete a report on Egyptian mummies and gets frustrated when the group doesn't work well together. Then he goes home and has to share the last cookie with his sister. He has had a BAD day, so he talks to his soccer coach who helps realized that working as a team and sharing are needed in everyday life as well as on the soccer field.
As I was reading Laura Candler's introductory post to the linky this really stuck with me: "The new standards require students to become actively engaged in their learning, often working with others to accomplish a task. If we don’t take time to teach kids to work together effectively, those lessons will be wasted and academic progress will suffer." So TRUE!! The time has passed for teacher-centered learning where students sit idly by listening. It is time to get them engaged. Learning is a social process that many times includes working effectively with a team to learn and process new information. Julia Cook's TEAMWORK book helps make this apparent to students through RJ's story.
I used this book as a read aloud to introduce why working together and sharing is so important. Since we use read alouds to teach vocabulary, I did with this book also. Click on the picture below for my vocabulary lesson plan.
Once we discussed the book, I placed students into teams and completed the following activities from the companion book - Teamwork Activity Book.
- What's in a Name - students have the opportunity to work as a team to create a unique, united identity
- Masking Tape Race - game with a purpose - team success is built by choosing and listening to a leader in order to "stick" together
- We debriefed after this to talk about how well each group worked as a team, why it was important (making references back to the book), and how this will help them academically.
- Team Acronym - already created a team name, now students worked together to build an acronym from that name
- To Share or Not to Share...That is the Question - help students know when it is appropriate to share through discuss of scenarios
Make sure to check out the rest of the books: