Collaborative Learning Teams
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
- Development of leadership skills
- Positive attitudes and behaviours
- A sense of belonging
What language is that?
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
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.
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.
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.
Our teams have certainly come a long way in working together and thinking together.