Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Collaboration Practice


Collaboration is a part of our learning each day.

The Common Core State Standards include collaboration as a key component [ See Speaking and Listening Standards as an example ].  Collaboration, though, requires listening and discussing skills and strategies that many students find difficult. Are there ways to promote practice of these so students acquire them as a daily habit?
I learned a strategey that my students enjoy from Joy Kirr, a Twitter colleague. She posted a "Find Your Seat" activity for five days at the beginning of the year. I've added to that; we're still "collaborating" to organize ourselves in groups every day as an entry task.  
After the first day, we wrote in our interactive notebooks what we did as a "learning community" to be successful at the task. That became our class guidelines.
What are our activities?  Collaborative Seating Slides. The first five are adapted from Joy's work; the rest I keep adding to; each day we review our Learning Community class guidelines and acknowledge how much we've improved as collaborators and learners.  We discuss who was a leader that day in helping to organize, who asked questions to clarify, who helped, who added an idea, etc. Each day students are improving in their openness and appropriate requests and conversations. Each day another student takes the lead, each day they learn better ways to interact with and involve their peers, and each day they learn positive ways to encourage each other. Most importantly, the students are collaborating not just with their usual friends, but with whomever is in their group that day. If students can speak up, lead, discuss with each of their classmates, including those they may not have chosen, then we are well on our way to becoming connected learners with peers around the world.  

And we continue our Dot Day goals while collaborating.:

Click image to enlarge.
 Students, which learning community guideline do you think is most important?

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1 comment:

  1. Ms. Edwards! I love those seating challenges, and it's great to see how your students are still challenging themselves. They were not my ideas, however. Here is the site from which they came: :)
    I'm also glad to let you know that I love seeing my niece in your first slide! I'm glad you kept that photo - I love that "anticipation" on her face.
    Thank you for sharing what you're doing in your class - ours is currently gearing up for the Cardboard Challenge (supposed to happen tomorrow for us!)!


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