Communication and Collaboration

Connecting Words

  • I like that
  • You're funny
  • Sit by me
  • Me too
  • Let's do that together
  • Good idea
  • Yes, and also...
  • That reminds me
  • I can help
  • I'll go with you
  • I agree
  • OK
  • Awesome!
  • Let's hang out

Communication and Collaboration

Learning Outcome: Students will be able to describe and use strategies for positive communication with their peers and with staff.

In each of the three categories below, we’ve defined some expectations or goals to improve communication.


  1. Use your body to listen.
    1. Orienting to partner (over camera or in person)
    2. Showing that you are listening
    3. Body language
    4. Tone of voice
  2. Restate/summarize what you hear to make sure you understand.
    1. Practice Reflective Listening
  3. Assume positive intent.
    1. Believe that everyone is doing their best (“Yes, and…” not “No, but….”)
  4. Listen to the ideas of others, even if you may not agree
    1. Try to understand why people think what they share and understand their perspective.
  5. Make room for others to participate.
    1. If there are people in your group you haven’t heard from, consider inviting them to share by asking what they think.

Teaching Resources


  1. Use connecting words to share your ideas.
    1. List of connecting words [.DOCX] (examples: “Me too,” “Good idea,”, “Yes, and…”, “You’re so funny,” “Tell me more about….,” “That reminds me….”)
  2. Share at appropriate times
    1. Turn-taking online and in person
      1. Teach first with explicit cues-use objects to cue turns, use questions or names of partners to cue turns.
      2. Later teach implicit cues--waiting for a pause to begin talking, understanding and matching pace of conversation
  3. Follow norms and etiquette of the situation
    1. Zoom norms [link to WSSB doc]
    2. Email Etiquette for Students [doc created by Shane to post]
  4. Appropriately share your ideas with others
    1. Use school-appropriate language, avoid insulting, offending, or bullying
    2. Criticize ideas, not individuals
  5. Actively participate in conversations.

Teaching Resources

Working in Groups

  1. Determine everyone’s roles and responsibilities
    1. Some possible team member roles
  2. Set and communicate shared goals
  3. Do what you say you will do
  4. Find a way to use and value everyone’s strengths

Teaching Resources

Email Etiquette for Students


  • Think of it as the "Code of Conduct" for email communications.
  • It refers to the principles of behavior that individuals should use when writing and answering emails.


  • Emails are a form of communication. Just as you follow face to face communication norms in conversation, you should do the same in written communication.
  • Larger class sizes, busy schedules, & online classes - not to mention distance learning - make it difficult to have in person discussions with teachers about questions and/or concerns.
  • You want your message to be understood in a positive manner as well as taken seriously.
  • The written word can be easily misinterpreted resulting in the recipient holding a negative opinion or simply ignoring your email altogether.


TO: type in the email address of the individual the message is intended for.

CC (Carbon Copy): Use this to add individuals who need a copy of the email. The original receiver of the email will see this person added.

BCC (Blind Carbon Copy): Use this when you want another individual to get a copy of the email and only they know they get a copy. The Blind means the original receiver does not know anyone else is getting a copy.

SUBJECT: Input a clear subject line. Keep it short & simple, but not vague. Include your class & what the email is specifically regarding in the subject.

BODY OF THE EMAIL: Include a greeting like you would a letter, try to keep emails brief (one screen length), use complete sentences, double check spelling/grammar/ punctuation, use professional font (not decorative), & give a proper salutation that matches the message of the email (Thank you or Sincerely).


  • Think about the impression your tone will make in the email. If you are emotionally charged, it is best to wait before emailing or responding to emails.

  • Do not write in all CAPITALS. This makes it seem that you are shouting at the receiver.

  • Treat teachers (and other students) with respect. Refrain from bad mouthing or calling unnecessary attention to situations. Golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

  • Sensitive subjects, like grades, are better discussed directly with the teacher (in person or via Zoom).


  • Be mindful of formatting. Special characters, images, fonts, etc. may appear differently on the intended receivers end.

  • Use proper structure and layout. Reading from a screen can be difficult, ensuring your email has a structure and concise layout is important. Make sure you have short paragraphs with spaces in between and use numbers or bullets when making points.

  • Watch out for run on sentences and long emails. Emails are meant to be concise and to the point, not novels.

  • Leave out the abbreviations and emojis. The receiver may not understand or be aware of the meanings behind these two things. When in doubt, it is best to leave it out.


  • Always read and reread your emails before sending. Double check spelling, grammar, proper titles, etc.

  • Consider your content and what following up is needed. If you have multiple questions or your email is running long, consider revising your email or meeting with the receiver face to face or via Zoom.

  • Double check your attachments. Always reference your attachment in the body of the email. Do not attach files that are very large, and make sure you send files in a format the receiver can open.


  • Allow the proper amount of response time. This applies to both the sender & receiver. The rule of thumb is 24 hours. If no response occurs after that, you can follow up.




Subject: assignment

i can’t find the assignment u gave in class. can you send me a new copy? thx!



Subject: Integrated Math 1 Assignment #5

Dear Ms. Doe,

I am emailing in regards to assignment #5 for Integrated Math I. I have a couple of questions about some of the topics. may I meet with you after class tomorrow to discuss these questions? If another time would be better for you, please let me know and I will reschedule. Thank you in advance for your help.


Jane Lee