- Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn
Cross-Grade Collaborations (Call for Papers)
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
August 2020: Cross-grade Collaboration Deadline September 1, 2019
Consider writing an article for Science and Children, NSTA's premier peer-educator journal dedicated to PreK-5 science teaching and learning.
Cross-grade collaborations can help move classrooms from disconnected, isolated learning silos to cohesive, supportive learning environments. This form of collaboration supports the collective learning of teachers and students. Whether it’s a fourth-grade class working with a first-grade class in deepening their understandings of waves and their applications in technology for information transfer (PS4) or multi-grade levels examining structures and processes from molecules to organisms (LS1), NGSS lends itself to cross-grade collaboration. Collaborations beyond the traditional "reading buddy" approach to learning from each other as core ideas can be explored, evaluated, and demonstrated with more in-depth understanding and sophistication across many grade levels.
For teachers, pairing with different grade-levels can extend the teacher’s role from the purveyor of knowledge to a co-constructor of thinking and learning with their students. Learning where students are and where they are going, offers vital information in understanding learning progressions and how to address student needs. For students, the experience of cross-grade collaboration can support differentiation as students serve as guides, mentors, buddies, and experts.
Article suggestions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:
Identify and outline a successful cross-grade collaboration. Include how and why this collaboration was effective for the teachers and students involved.
Share how you have used cross-grade collaboration experiences to enhance learning for students with language or special needs. How has the cross-grade collaboration supported learning modifications?
Describe how a cross-grade collaboration provided opportunities for deeper learning experiences for students. How were students supported and inspired by NGSS learning progressions?
Share how cross-grade collaboration not only enhanced student learning but created an opportunity for teacher engagement, reinvigoration, and partnerships.
For cross-grade collaborations with middle and/or high school students, be sure to focus on the benefits, outcomes, and grade-level appropriate learning for the elementary students.