Have you heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know?”  Perhaps, as teachers, we would change that phrase to say something like “We want you to know a lot but if you can’t work with others you’re in trouble.”  This week I will be devoting my posts to collaboration in the classroom.  I’ll be reflecting on the following questions and issues.

  • How do we establish routines and guidelines that allow students to be successful when working in groups?
  • How do we prevent students from falling into old “roles” in groups?
  • How can we use observation, goal setting, feedback, and encouragement to improve students’ experiences working in groups?
  • What supports can we provide for students to ensure that each one of them has access to the group’s activities and that they feel valued by their group?
  • How do we cultivate the natural leaders in our classroom in order to make group work successful and equitable?
  • How do we assess individuals within the structure of a small group?
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2 Responses to Collaboration

  1. Tara says:

    This is awesome – especially as we near the end of the year and realize that some things have slid as far as being watchful about how our kids collaborate.

  2. pradlfan says:

    I am asking the same questions; every year I feel as if I get closer the THE answers, yet with each season new obstacles emerge. I have also been more than little interested in what makes teachers (me, you) persist in getting at the depths of these questions without really tiring of it – knowing that we can always do better. Because I tend to use collaborative inquiry as a dominant activity in relation to other class time, both in larger and smaller groups, your questions dovetail with some of my own about establishing a consistent classroom climate in which every voice is heard.

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