Building a Collaborative Learning Community within your Classroom
What’s a collaborative learning community?
The value of collaborative learning communities cannot be underestimated within a classroom environment.
The basis for a community is collaboration: where a group works together toward similar goals. In this case, it is learning. Students discover the skills and behaviors that benefit their community and become partners in helping each other learn these skills, so that everyone can learn more effectively. We know that these skills will transfer to the world outside their classroom and help pave students’ way for a successful future in society.
Below are some tips to help:
Create a set of “Classroom Courtesy Rules” with the students and enforce them. These rules might include; Saying please and thank you, using kind words and respect toward each other, and avoiding sarcasm and other disrespectful behaviors.
If unkind behavior occurs between classmates, stop such behavior immediately. It will send the message that this is not tolerated. Once students realize that your classroom is a safe place, their minds are free to learn.
Use class-building activities and class meetings to develop a sense of community between students. During class morning meetings, provide the students with an opportunity to give and receive compliments and appreciation. Give them the opportunity to solve problems through discussion and brainstorming of possible solutions as a group.
Class meetings can follow the following format:
Compliments and appreciation
Follow-up on prior solutions
a. Share feelings while others listen
b. Discuss without fixing
c. Ask for problem-solving help
With the above activities, you will see the relationships among your students grow. They will become more positive and supportive of one another once they realize how good it feels to give and receive praise for doing a good job. You will set the stage for creating a collaborative learning community and it will last well beyond this school year.
This article has excerpts from Benchmark Education Blog. Read the original here.