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Magazine Issue 103: Collaboration
January 2019

This month: Thoughts about working and learning together

Article: Group Work
New Resources
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

I Don't Like Group Work

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I Dont Like Group Work An Article about different ways of working and learning together.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation
But only when it's done for the sake of doing group work. To tick a box; develop life skills; now back to your spellings etc. etc. When there's a clear reason for working together, a purpose and the group is managed well, then it's fine. Necessary. Invaluable.

When you work in a group or a team, does 1+1=3? Or does it equal 1.89? Research says working together improves learning. But that's like saying food improves health. Let's think about it:

My occasional collaborator and like-mind, Tom Hoerr, once principal of the world leading New City School in St Louis, says there are three different ways for teachers to learn and work together:

1. Co-operation: We all get along just fine, pushing towards the same goal, generally agreeing about how things get done.

2. Collaboration: We all work together on the same project, bringing our diverse and unique skills to bear on it.

3. Collegiality: We all learn together, researching and teaching one another about the most effective aspects of our profession.

 

Let's transform this for students in class:

1. Co-operation: We all get along fine in the classroom. We do our work. We can, by and large, sort out any disagreements.

2. Collaboration: We work together on the same task, each taking on a different role and being responsible for a different aspect of success.

Collegiality: We take responsibility for mastering content and teaching it to others - maybe as student mentors, student coaches or subject experts.

Add to this the choice between group work, team work and project work and you have a better idea of the many different kinds of working together: collaborate on a project; co-operate on a task etc. But not sitting around the same table, individually and quietly working on the same thing.

Students don't come group-ready, especially younger ones. Children who are still busy establishing who they are will be less ready to work well with others. They need core skills: listening, turn-taking, decision making, negotiation, conflict resolution. Just like adults have. Mostly.

Start small. A group of one is a good beginning. Then pairs, then trios. Cap it at sixes and make sure everyone in the group has a clear role in addition to the learning task - facilitator, recorder, checker for example.

Does it work? Research from John Hattie and the EEF suggest it does, but only if we get it right. Ineffective group work is a thing too.

Check out this month's Thinking Tool for more detail on helping students to work and learn together effectively, efficiently and productively. And reflect on times when you've absolutely hated group work and times when you've really loved it. What was the difference?

New Resources:

Collaborate

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Collaborate A Thinking Skills Tool describing how to set up group work.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Collaborative Thinking, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Collaborate PowerPoint

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Collaborate PowerPoint A Thinking Tool Template in PowerPoint to support the Collaborate Thinking Tool.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Collaborative Thinking, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Team Think Sheet

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Team Think Sheet A simple Think Sheet about working together, winning, failing, competing etc.

Categories: Think Sheet, Skills-Based Learning, PE, Junior

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation Team Work
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Negotiate That

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Negotiate That An Article about negotiation with a couple of very shareable stories and a way to embed it into your teaching.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Negotiation Collaboration

Team-Built Display

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Team-Built Display A Classroom and Homework Activity in which the whole class need to collaborate to create an inspiring display. Provided in Word for easy editing and adaptation.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Other Resources, Leadership, PSHE, Junior

Tags: Display Leadership Collaboration

Books:

5 Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni

5 Dysfunctions of a Team <br>by Patrick Lencioni Read this before it's too late!

Available from Amazon

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Categories: Suggested Books, Skills Based Learning

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation

Websites:

Effective Group Work

Effective Group Work Straightforward, effective advice for productive group work - from Birmingham University's dept. of Metallurgy and Materials.

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/metallurgy-materials/about/cases/group-work/tips.aspx

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Categories: Websites, Skills Based Learning

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation


Next month we think about... Active Learning