July 17

Collaborative Learning Teams

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 5.28.52 pm


Collaboration is more than just working in a group. Our mantra “We work together, we think together, we act together, we collaborate.” is at the core of our team work. I believe it promotes

  • Higher achievement
  • Deeper understanding
  • Enjoyment
  • Development of leadership skills
  • Positive attitudes and behaviours
  • A sense of belonging

What language is that? 

When working in our learning teams, we practice the use of sophisticated collaborative language which comes from a variety of sources and strategies for developing our learning such asScreen Shot 2015-02-14 at 4.21.51 pm

The Habits of Mind


Gardiner’s Multiple Intelligences


A Japanese term that essentially means “continuous, never ending, seemingly insignificant improvements to work practices and personal efficiency.”

We sing the Kaizen song – to the tune of “Mary had a little lamb.”

“Kaizen is a little bit,

little bit, little bit.

Kaizen is a little bit,

getting stronger every day.”

The language of suggestion and negotiation as well as choosing the right mindset.

This doesn’t come easily and takes lots of modelling and practice

Page_1 but working together, we get there.

Our criteria for success was agreed to so that we can have a classroom that is clean, happy, safe and shared.

When everyone collaborates we make learning enjoyable for all.

Therefore we will 

  • Be on time, be on task and be organised
  • Demonstrate respect for other people, our property and ourselves
  • Behave appropriately at all times
  • Always be our best and do our best.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 1.37.10 PM

What are Learning teams?

There are four roles in each team

  • Chairperson – runs meetings/task
  • Gofor– goes for team equipment, hands up finished work etc
  • Recorder – records teams thinking
  • Timekeeper/Encourager – reminds team of responsibilities and keeps them on task

Teams stay together for five weeks so we have two new teams a term. Each week members change seats to fit into a new role. At the end of their time together each team members provides explicit written feedback on their interdependence skills in the form of a letter. I organise teams for the first two terms.

Learning Team Morning Meetings

Each morning teams get together for a meeting to check how organised for learning we are. Students need to share successes in having diary and reading log filled in and signed, a pencil or pen if on pen trial, a reader and a drink bottle of water. They use a Team Log to keep track and enter that onto the IWB each day.

Learning Team Logs Year 2

On Mondays the team negotiates a focus for the week. When we were learning how to write a focus they were usually fairly simple needs e.g. “Pushing chairs in so we don’t have accidents” or  “working quietly so we can hear Ellen”

As we became more confident using the log and working together, the foci have become more sophisticated and targeted for individual team needs. We always ask these questions – What are you going to do? Why are you doing it? and How will you do it? These are the foci from week 2 term 3.

t1 t2 t3 t4 t5 t6


Our teams have certainly come a long way in working together and thinking together.

20 thoughts on “Collaborative Learning Teams

  1. Lili

    Hello Ellen,
    what made you think on having this sight called Useful Learning Sights? Is it because you want us to get fast at typing and have fun on playing these useful games? Or is it for a different reason?
    Kind regards

    1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

      Howdy Lili,
      Well my job is to help you guys be the best learners you can be so if there are sites that can help you I’d like to make life easier for you. Once you log on just bookmark them so then you don’t always have to go through the blog. I do need to search for others but as you guys have been so busy commenting I spend ages answering. I don’t mind though look at how awesome you’ve all become. Are there some site you know that would be helpful?
      Regards Ellen

  2. Lili

    Hi Ellen,
    Back in your days what was the name of the school you went to?
    Was it Grange Primary School?
    Or was it Nazerath?
    Thanks Lili

    1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

      G’day Lili,
      you have been a busy blogger this afternoon. I actually went to a school that no longer exists. My JP and primary school was Ridley Grove. A few years ago they pulled it down and created a super school and renamed it Woodville Gardens. The high School that I went to was Woodville High which celebrated its one hundredth birthday this year. I enjoyed all my years at both sites. Funny though I was five when I started school, then I went to learn to be a teacher so now I work in schools, I never stopped going! Do you think you know which high school you’ll attend once you leave Grange?
      Cheers Ellen

      1. Indi

        Hi Lili,are you exited for sports day?Hope so. I might not be able to come because i think i rolled my ankle and it hurts 🙁 I hope we can have a play soon because i would like to see Yoshi aww!;-) i hope you will reply to my comment! Do you think that whole gender teams are good or not? Tell me what you think when you reply because I would like to hear you’re opinion on what you think. But I really like the three girls and one boy teams because they are good but I don’t like the just boy teams because they get very noisy what do you think?
        very kind regards Indi
        ps.please reply

        1. Lili's mum

          Hi Indi, this is Lili’s mum here. I hope your ankle gets better for tomorrow so that you can run super dooper fast. Did you sprain or roll your ankle, and how did you do it? Goodnight now and hopefully we will see you tomorrow Go yellow!m Lili’s mum

      2. Lili

        Hi Ellen,
        I think i’ll be going to St Micheals High School.
        Are you going to teach year 4’s next year?
        Kind regards Lili

        1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

          Greetings Lili,
          I hear St. Michael’s is a great school you should enjoy studying there. Do other members of your family attend that school? I wonder if other Grange students will also go when you do.

          As far as I know I will teach year three next year. I only hope the class has wonderful children like this year’s hard working folk. Oh well, I get to investigate space again😊. Don’t you think this term is going really fast. We’ll be changing teams soon for the last time. Goodness! there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for me to play.
          Warm regards Ellen.

  3. Lili

    Hi Indi,
    I love the way you use suggestive language all the time. I wish you could earn a gold medal for doing it! Don’t you?
    Best wishes from Lili

  4. Steven

    Hi Ellen I like my learning team i like a lot thanks Ellen so did you have a whole table with girls on one like we have? and thanks a lot. by Steven

    1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

      Hello Steven,
      When I went to school we had big classes and we mostly sat in long rows one after the other. It wasn’t all that exciting at all. When I was in grade six, our teacher divided the class with half of the class the good side and the other half the bad side and each week some kids were voted in or out. I didn’t like that because some kids never got on the good side all year! I much prefer how you guys work so everyone gets to work together. Do like this way?
      Regards Ellen

    1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

      Oscar that’s a good question, Now remember when I asked you guys at the beginning of the year “What is your job?” your answer was collectively – To be the best learners you can be. Then I said it was my job to help you get there. If you go back and read about teams, then you will find out to be a successful learner you need to work hard to achieve, know and understand your work, and you should enjoy learning, It’s important to become confident leaders too, so you’ll need to build leadership skills and be able to work with others successfully.

      Now I believe that when you work in these learning teams you get a chance to practice and develop these skills. Now that you guys are more independent you are making decisions for your teams rather than me. So you are in charge of your learning. It’s now up to you Oscar.
      Does that answer your question?


    1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

      I do Alicia because it means together students learn a lot more skills. It also means that you have always got some one to work with and you don’t get left out. You can learn a lot from other people and you can model a lot for others too.
      I wonder what others think?

    1. elleneisenkolb15 (Post author)

      Yes , this one! Only kidding. Perhaps not a whole class but some years there can be too many students. That can be frustrating indeed.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.