Sustained Collaborations: Weather Buddies

This is our second year participating in the Dallas ISD’s Weather Buddies program. While we do many collaborations, they are usually just one meeting between the classes. I’m just never sure how to make a long term collaboration work.

However, Lori Colwill at Dallas ISD has been running the year-long weather buddies program for two years now. It’s very popular and I’ve seen several copycat projects on CAPspace.

We had a couple connections last week, and we have two today as well. This October meeting is the first meeting between the classes. In the October session, they are learning about each other and about the weather in their respective locations.

Classes shared weather forecasts, and pictures from the community to show raking leaves, colored trees, etc.

Classes also like to turn the camera out the window to show what the weather is like right now. Today it was grey in Michigan and blue skies in TX, so of course our kids reacted excitedly!

Another class shared their weather bear – to show he just had a jacket on, but not a scarf, hat or mittens.

Last year I only had one class participate all year; but this year I have several more.

I’ve never really had an idea on how to make a long term sustained collaboration work on a scale. It’s easier when the teachers decide to keep connecting. But I’ve heard a lot of teachers say “let’s connect again” and they never do. It seems they need a nudge to schedule the next connection. Otherwise life gets busy and it doesn’t happen.

What I like about Weather Buddies this year is that each class has committed to a specific day of the week and time; and there is a specific week for Weather Buddies all year – October, December, January and May. This way it’s on the schedule! I find that if a VC gets “scheduled”, it will likely happen. But if it’s just an idea, often it doesn’t get past the idea.

I appreciate learning how to do sustained, long term, multi-connection collaborations from Lori. Maybe soon I’ll be inspired to think of my own. In the meantime, we love Weather Buddies!

3 replies on “Sustained Collaborations: Weather Buddies”

  1. Hi, Would Lori be interested in connecting up with teachers in Alberta, Canada?

  2. Janine Lim says:

    Christel – I know Lori has some Canadian partners for this project, but I think registration is over for this year. You could check her website to see if she has any times where she still needs partners…

  3. Christel Smith says:

    Thanks Lori! We’ll keep it in mind for next year.

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