Building Student Collaborative Practice #ce14

The Common Core State Standards include collaboration as a key component [ See Speaking and Listening Standards as an example ].  Collaboration, though, requires listening and discussing skills and strategies that many students find difficult. Are there ways to promote practice of these so students acquire them as a daily habit?

I’m sure many of us have ideas — and please add yours here in the comments. But I learned a strategey that my students enjoy from Joy Kirr, a Twitter colleague. She posted a “Find Your Seat” activity for five days at the beginning of the year. I’ve added to that; we’re still “collaborating” to organize ourselves in groups every day as an entry task.

After the first day, we wrote in our interactive notebooks what we did as a “learning community” to be successful at the task. That became our class guidelines.

What are our activities?  The first five are adapted from Joy’s work; the rest I keep adding to; each day we review our Learning Community guidelines and acknowledge how much we’ve improved as collaborators and learners.  Collaborative Seating Slides. We discuss who was a leader that day in helping to organize, who asked questions to clarify, who helped, who added an idea, etc. Each day they are improving in their openness and approriate requests and conversations: collaboration becomes a part of our learning each day.

What ideas do you have for helping students develop their collaboration skills so they carry over to the more complex work of collaborating on projects with texts.