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Collaborative Classrooms

Hello Gardeners!

We know the sentiment rings true that we are better together than we are as individuals. When we work together, we balance out each other's strengths and weaknesses. Today on the blog, we are looking at why classroom #collaboration is important and provide you with some creative, collaborative activities!

Why is collaboration so important?

Collaboration urges us to:

1. Communicate

2. Negotiate and problem solve

3. Feel confident in sharing our ideas

4. Gain deeper insight into the subject

5. Enjoy working with others!

Collaborative learning is a great way to build social and emotional learning (#SEL) into your lesson plan. Not only are your students developing a deeper understanding into the material (by summarizing and analyzing the material or negotiating differing opinions), but they are developing major communication skills and a confidence and joy in working with people.

How do you work collaborative learning into your classroom?

We found some amazing activities to give you some ideas!

Friendship art

We found this fun craft via Play Teach Repeat where 6 or more students create a collaborative piece of art, and then have the option of taking home a piece for themselves.  All you'll need are some basic art materials and you have a colorful & collaborative lesson plan!

Nature Weaving

What an awesome idea! This collaborative activity not only gets the kids outside, but weaving requires some thinking and communication. You can find lots of examples of this online, but we love this one from Figment Creative Labs.

Popsicle Stick Bridges

This fun #STEAM challenge is sure to get your students communicating and working together. Give them a roll of tape and 25 popsicle sticks and have them build the strongest, most aesthetically pleasing bridge that crosses the gap between two desks.  Visit The Ardent Teacher for details.

Cooperative Obstacle Courses

Instead of encouraging competition, try setting up a cooperative obstacle course. Perfect for a rainy day! Pair up your students, blind fold one and have the other guide their partner through the obstacle course. This will help kids practice being the leader, but also being the listener! Head to What Can We Do With Paper and Glue.

Create a Mural

Murals are such a great way to get every student involved. If your school has a blank and open wall - ask your school's art teacher and your principal. What better way to show students working together than a massive piece of artwork made by all of them?

What are some of your favorite #CollaborativeLearning activities? Let us know in the comments, email, or tag us @youareagardener - we would love to see how you promote communication and cooperation in your classroom!

Don't forget to #PullYourWeeds! We'll see you next time :)


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