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?

  Often times students can be confused or unclear about how to organize and complete an assignment or project.  Assigning roles can give the students a blueprint to follow.  This can help students learn how to prioritize tasks and organize information whether working in a group or individually.  

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Hi, my name is Amy Witt, and I'm a reading interventionist at Mendenhall River Community School in Juneau. We have about 350 students in prek-5th grades with diverse learning needs. My role is working with small groups of students in grades K-5 who are below grade level expectations in reading. Before moving to this position last year, I taught special education for 3-5 at the same school. One of my school's learning focus this year is using academic conversations to facitiliate oral language development and student collaboration. The video I chose is a brief introduction to how to have successful student pairings so that they can help each other converse. I like the reminder that it's important to give individual think time before having students share in pairs, as it gives students a chance to gather their thoughts. 

Three Ways to Encourage Student Collaboration

Three Ways to Encourage Student Collaboration

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  • - - 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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