Pixar movies, like Toy Story and The Incredibles, have been huge successes because of the painstaking process that the creators go through to craft a movie using impeccable storytelling. Part of this process includes the infamous team meetings that Pixar utilizes to critique and analyze each scene of its movies. Team members gather to view the movie throughout the process and are able to provide true constructive criticism to improve each and every scene, which has helped Pixar to become one of the most successful companies in film history.
Team meetings can also help your classroom environment. In my class, we held a class meeting once a week, or more often if necessary. Every Friday, we would clear our tables out of the way, and put all of our chairs into a giant circle. Then we would spend a half hour sharing our successes as well as talking through problems or issues important to the class. It was important that students knew how to provide constructive criticism to classmates. This had to be explicitly modeled for students. Sometimes, it was a student saying, “I haven’t been able to concentrate because everyone is so noisy during social studies,” or my co-teacher saying, “I am proud of how you supported John this week after he missed all of last week when he was sick.” These conversations are so important to the well-being of the entire class – Students and Teachers alike!
Just like Pixar, give everyone the chance to provide feedback in order to improve your classroom.