Teacher Tap

puzzleThe Cs:
Coordination, Cooperation, Collaboration, and Creativity

Explore each of the following four areas: Coordination, Cooperation, Collaboration, and Creativity.


To arrange or harmonize in a common action

First grade and four grade classes can work together with a little coordination. Go to Animal Tales for an example.

Herman (1994) in The Force of Ones suggests the Cs of Interaction: Contact, Contract, Concreteness, Check, Close. Here's how these ideas could be used in coordinating activities with all ages:

  1. Contact. Smile and listen. Discuss the possibilities. Ask: Have we considered all the options?
  2. Contract. Identify what needs done. Ask: Is everyone happy with the roles and responsibilities?
  3. Concreteness. Make it simple and specific. Make statements that are sharp, simple, specific. Email everyone. Ask: Who, what, when, where, why & how?
  4. Check. Confirm the direction. Ask: How are we doing? Do we need to make adjustments?
  5. Close. Good endings make good beginnings. Ask: How did it go? Who needs to know how it went?

Go to Wikis and the Role of Collaboration for examples of classes working together.


To work with another or others toward a common end

What can you contribute to a cooperative effort? Consider how you can match your strengths with the needs and interests of your instructional team.

Curriculum Leader. Connect quality resources and activities to specific curriculum needs. Not just the resource itself, but quality activities.

Information Scientist. Many of our students and teachers are technology literate, but are they information fluent?

Resource Consultant. Many students and teachers prefer to "google" than carefully select the best resource for the job. Promote a variety of resources from books and videos to web resources and videos. Place emphasis on addressing different intelligences through a variety of materials. For example, audiobooks promote oral fluency. They're also a great tool for reluctant readers and those who spend time in the car or bus.

Technology Specialist. Encourage the use of a variety of communication tools from blogs for journaling to video information dissemination.

Literature Specialist. Contribute your knowledge of literature and reading.

Digital Developer. Share your expertise as a website developer.

Community Collaborator. Facilitate activities with community resources such as the public library, museums, nature centers, government resources, and online resources to build "real world" connections to subject areas. For example, the photo on the right shows one of many community members participating in a community development project that involved Indiana students sharing their work. The students, teachers, library media specialist, and community members collaborated to make the project a success.

"Big Picture" Thinker. You have a cross-curricular perspective unlike anyone else in your building. Help teachers see connections among standards across content areas. Build relationships between language arts and math/science/social studies and information skills.

Are you perceived as a proactive member of the learning community or as a passive observer? Explore ways to actively build diverse partnerships.


To work together in a joint intellectual effort

Synergy occurs when two or more elements work together to produce an impact greater than the sum of their individual efforts. Consider all the possible communities that can help you promote synergy: school, local, regional, global.

Check out the Flat Stanley page. Rather than just posting photographs like most Flat Stanley projects, we published a Flat Stanley e-comicbook! Try using Comic Life.


To produce something new or different; imaginative or original

Creativity: 3 Components

For creative ideas, go to Escrapbooking Projects.

Creative Environment

Expand Creativity

Exercise Creativity

Creative Classroom Ideas

The Keys

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