Series: Tch Tips

Three Ways to Encourage Student Collaboration
Lesson Objective: Help students learn from each other
All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

Thought starters

  1. How does taking think time set students up for successful collaboration?
  2. How could you explicitly teach listening skills and talking norms?
  3. How does assigning roles facilitate successful collaboration?
42 Comments

This video is a good reminder for think time. I have been using this with our new reading curriculum this year. It has worked well. It allows all students to participate. We all have those students who want to answer everything, but now my students know that everyone will have their voice heard. It is fun to walk around and hear them sharing. I use champs in my classroom and have been working with my students this year on being a good listener along with it being okay to have a difference of opinion. We don't have to agree but we do need to be respectful of each other. Students need to know what it is that we want of them.  I think assigning roles helps everyone understand what it is that is expected of them. 

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I loved the idea of using badges with students roles. It is a great visual to remind students what their roles are in groups.   Also, using a poster helps students to remember what their expectations are for talking and listening.  Modeling expectations is great, but if the students see a visual daily, they are unlikely to forget when it is time for colloaboration.

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I agree that badges for roles and a poster for expectations for talking and listening are good tools for students to use when collaborating. Guiding this process in the beginning and gradually turning the process over to the chidlren to the greatest extent possible may yield wonderful results that empower children to eventually form their own groups and decide as a group what each one's role is to be.

Mary Jane Tenney

 

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I use think time with Kindergartners. I have students sitting at table of 4, with 2 students facing 2 others. I ask a question, and then I have students turn to shoulder partners and share. After this, I ask tables to talk with each other (shoulder partners sharing with shoulder partners.) This works really well when we are discussing something and EVERYBODY wants to share at once. This way they can instantly share and be heard. This is SO important to 5 and 6 year olds!

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Allowing time for reflective thinking is particularly important when working with students with slower processing speed,  students from indigenous cultures particularly who speak their native language.  To foster helping the students fo become more comfortable with quiet reflective thinking time.... I have introduced and cultivated students practicing what I call " QUIET TIME."  This is essentially meditation with eyes closed and students putting down their heards, or sitting up with relaxed / strong posture with eyes closed.  After several weeks, students have consistently grown to welcome this brief reprieve which encourages reflective thinking.

Resource:  youtube: Norwich University meditation ( approx 7 + minutes )

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I like the idea of practicing listening and talking norms as shown in the video (Eyes and body show listening; take turns; stay on topic; listen carefully, keep the conversation going)  with a practice like "rug partners" This kind of practice can help build confidence that can form a good habit of  civil listening and speaking for life.

 

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I like this idea and I think I will try it in my kindergarten class. This will give students a minute to breath, calm down if necessary, and gather their thoughts. Sometimes 5 and 6 year olds just want to blurt things out and they don't always make sense!

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Think time allows students to self-reflect, providing a moment for children to process information. With constant stimulation throughout the day, it is rare that children receive a quiet moment to unpack their learning. An educator may explicitly teach listening skills and talking norms through Responsive classroom techniques. The teacher may address the class by stating, “what do you notice about…” Students are able to make connections and understand the expectations according to the class rules set forth at the beginning of the school year. Assigning roles allow students to exhibit ownership of the facilitation process to successfully collaborate. There is a great deal of planning and anticipation when assigning roles to students. Teachers have an intent that is based upon the lesson’s objectives. Educators are able to facilitate student learning through the careful arrangement of groups.

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Transcripts

  • - - This is going to be your think time alone, off you go. Individual think time gives each child

    - - This is going to be your think time alone, off you go. Individual think time gives each child time to think and reason before someone speaks to them. Turn and talk about it with somebody at your table, and see where you are. - So one of the strategies I use in my classroom is rug partners, and it's structured with rules of listening skills, and talking norms. The reason I do that is just to get the juices flowing - Keep the conversation going. - I would say, pair your chattys with your quiets and your ELLs with your english-only students so that they are able to really help each other and build on each other's strengths. - So when you came in today you each got a sticker, okay, those are your job stickers for today for our investigation - So in trying to create a good collaborative role in the classroom, I definitely think at first the teachers have to assign jobs to the students, but then eventually move to where that is a student choice. - I think one of the most important things is to know your student's personalities and which students are going to be dominant, which ones are going to kinda sit back and listen. - I also, think that teachers have to be willing to change those groups, the groups can't remain the same every time and all the time. - Remember, don't forget the measurement.

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