Thursday, 11 February 2016

Setting Up Expectations for a Collaborative Classroom

I am currently sitting in my classroom at lunch, taking in the unusual sound of silence.  Robyn and I have spent the first days of the term setting up routines and expectations for our classroom.  As said by a student in Robyn's class last year:

"We learn best when we learn with and from each other." 

 ... And I couldn't have said it any better myself! Robyn and I believe that collaboration is an extremely effective way for our students to learn.  Therefore our lessons have been carefully considered and created, as we want collaboration to be the key element.

At first this was a challenge, as some of the students came from classes which didn't do a lot of collaborative work.  It takes a lot of encouragement and repetition of the expectations so the learners can begin to work collaboratively.  Our learners also need to feel safe in their groups so they can share their ideas.  It is therefore important to stress the importance of including everyone and being respectful of their ideas.

 Looking around the room during block two Robyn and I were quite pleased.  Learning conversations, co-operation and collaboration was happening before our eyes!  Our collaborative classroom is definitely underway.

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