Hi, this is Jenny with crafted, just here to give you a couple quick tips about student collaboration, it’s something that I get a lot of questions about within project-based learning

So, just want to give you a couple ideas that you can play around with and then provide you with quite a few resources at the bottom of this quick video.

So, the first is just to consider using team contracts and I’ll include a video for you and a few samples as well, team contracts can be really helpful to be sure that groups function efficiently and kind of engage in some healthy discussions and have some clear expectations for each other as they work together as a group.

Protocols I can’t recommend enough, protocols are a really nice way to address issues of status and equity that show up in groups. I prefer silent protocols, for me personally I take a while to process and so for students who are like me and just kind of need space to be held for us to think and be sure that other people aren’t talking over us or I’m using too much air time, protocols are a really nice way to just give students a structure to follow when they’re having a discussion

So, again I’ll provide some of my favorite resources for discussion protocols.

Another idea that you can play around with is role cards, so I know that those are something that are commonly used in most classrooms and the only thing that I would just encourage you to think about is to use role cards that lead to as one of my colleagues Jamie Ross would say; equal thinking not just equal doing.

So, just to be leery of role cards that are asking maybe one student to do the heavy lifting and be the team leader, while another one is like the paper-passer-outer.

So, I’ll provide you an example below as well but role cards can be great you know include some sentence frames on the back of those role cards and be really clear about the expectations for the student in that group, but those can be really nice for students that just don’t maybe have that Capitol or know how to navigate, group conversations or a dynamics and the last thing I would just encourage you to spend some time thinking about is to really explore what active listening, looks like, sounds like, feels like with students and to just scaffold that process for them and explain that, you know the way that we show up when we’re listening looks different for different purposes and that’s a skill set a lot of adults don’t have and so we really need to take the time to model that for our students

You can do fishbowl protocols to kind of show what that looks like, debrief it as much as possible and again I’ll include some resources for you down below

And then lastly, is just to be sure that the collaborative activity that you’ve assigned truly requires collaboration, oftentimes will ask students to collaborate on something that doesn’t really necessitate collaboration or it’s not way you know they don’t have to work together to get it done and so guess what if they don’t have to work together it’s not necessary, they probably won’t, so that could be a source of frustration for both you and your students, if you’re finding they’re not working together, maybe they didn’t really need to in the first place

So, and again I’ll include a resource for you below that you can kind of do as a gut check to go through and ask yourself is this really collaborative by nature what I’m asking my students to do.

So, good luck, it’s a fight worth fighting to teach our students how to be more collaborative.

Hang in there.