Cooperative Learning Groups

One of our three rules this year is to “Collaborate & Cooperate.”  The reasons why are abundant:

Collaborative learning works because it best simulates an authentic learning/working environment.  Few of us, as adults, work in true isolation with no other people.  Collaboration not only helps us work better, but it is an unavoidable reality for most professions and workers.

So does this involved us?  Hopefully, collaboration is obvious to the academic and social success of students.  Aside from being a stated goal of my room, this will travel home.  Students will be (and already are, in some cases) frustrated with their group.  It’s very important that we reinforce the importance of learning to work with one another.  Each class identified what the characteristics are of a good group.  We’re reviewing those today.  We do teamwork, communication, and collaborative exercises every day, with one day reserved for nothing but that.

This will not be a quick learning process for all.  There is no magic lesson or magic pill to make all students good collaborative workers.  The students need support at home when they are frustrated.  Help them understand how this is similar to a work environment, and share some of your experiences to solve the problems.  I sit with each group, everyday.  I’m in constant interaction with the students.  However, you not only know your children’s strengths and weaknesses better, but will likely motivate them better with a good parent-child discussion on what you’ve done in situations like this.  I hope this makes you feel like a part of the classroom, as more than just learning concrete facts, you’re helping me teach the students how to work with one another.

Later in the week, I’ll post what some of the groups said are the good and bad traits, what have been the successes so far, as well as the failures.  Feel free to comment or e-mail me if you have a question regarding cooperative learning groups and collaboration.

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5 thoughts on “Cooperative Learning Groups

  1. Saule (Sunny)

    Thank you very much for helping me with my previous question! I really want to do the John Hancock building, but I can’t find the width! I’ve called the John Hancock office and the observatory, but nobody knows the width! Can I guess by comparing the example we did in class? Ex: Your building was 1253 ft tall, model 5 feet tall and the width was 125 feet, model 2 feet. My building is 1127 feet tall so would 1.5 feet wide work?

  2. Saule (Sunny)

    Hi Mr.Little! How was your day off? Sorry if I’m writing again! I can’t find my previous comment. I was looking at the amount of Styrofoam I have. Do we have to do the exact amount that we got with our equation? Can we make it smaller? I think that you answering our questions is a wonderful idea! Good job Mr.Little!

  3. Mr. Little

    Well, it wasn’t so much a day off. Mason was sick and we needed to go to the Dr. He’s a little better now, but still has a fever.

    Yes, you may adjust your measurements once you realize how big it is getting. It is sometimes wise to do that, especially when you realize it may save you some money, or time!

  4. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  5. Pingback: J9’s Webspiration for Collaboration | Janine M.'s Technology Class Blog

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