Thursday, 17 November 2016


Creating Collaborative Classrooms
Collaborative Learning in Practice
Karen Dymke (
Jasper Hotel Melbourne 17/11/16

Wel2Country app greeting

What is collaborative learning?
Karen showed us 'clock buddies'

Important to teach respectful behaviour and scaffold a respectful introduction.
Part of the success criteria for collaboration is to develop a 'code of conduct' ( demonstrate respect) teaching the skill of listening, eye contact/positive body language, public speaking ( speaking clearly) making it a positive talk zone ( no put-downs)
Four seasons in one day task. ( trust an important skill for collaboration.Modelling good manners essential)
Karen talked about Tribes by Jeanne Gibbs. She feels it's important for classrooms to develop into a 'tribe'

Collaboration is about students becoming their own teachers. It is a frame of mind
'It's not about what you do, it's how you think about what you do'. Hattie
We need to be clear about 'dispositions' ( Refer The Habits of Mind R. Costa) 
What 'dispositions' do you need to become a good learner? What qualities do you need ( To be a visible learner) you need to be respectful, a risk taker, resilient, resourceful.

Why should we collaborate?( Graham Nuthall)
Nuthall found that students got 80% of their feedback from each other.
Karen referred to 'Continuum' by Mary Mannison

Hattie wanted to know what was the best way to impact learning. He collects research internationally and has data from 300 million students from Prep-20. He found 95% of what teachers do works. Some approaches make a huge difference ( classroom discussion, reciprocal teaching , feedback and self-questioning have a significant impact) when students become their own teachers they progress faster. Teachers collaborating has a high effect. Time to talk as professionals is important. We watched the Ken Robertson video.
Karen talked about individualistic learning ( traditional model of filling empty vessels) independent learning on computers is deemed individualistic Collaborative learning is:

Co-operation is superior to competition. Classrooms should be restructured to include: providing formative feedback supporting, gradual release of responsibility, facilitating communication, provide group learning opportunities and encouraging students.
Karen talked about 'visible thinking' protocols ( Ron Ritchards) available on Google. ( 'I used to think but now I know how to think'. Some of his thinking tools include; think puzzle explore, see think wonder, compass points etc)

Every student has something valuable to contribute and every student matters and should be respected as learners. We are all learners together when we see learning through our students eyes. Peer tutoring is very important. ( reciprocal teaching ) 
Effective collaboration has:
Group goal ( learning intention and success criteria essential. Clarity about the task.)
Individual accountability
Collective responsibility
Respect.( code of conduct required) 
Practice active listening and asking good questions ( open and closed questions)
Fine tune negotiation skills
( teachers should always be modelling these)

We looked at Jigsaw learning and discussed introducing collaboration into schools. 
It works best with:
Learning concepts
Verbal problem solving
Retention and memory 
Special problem solving ( refer: Dave Tout Multiangled)

Fostering collaborations
Developing a collaborative not competitive mind-set.
We need an environment of 'having a go' and encouraging (Developing positive mindsets: Carol Dweck)
Our schools should encourage risk taking. Praise for effort has a big impact. Praise can make or break a student's development. Praise should be more about student effort than achievement.
Learning strategies more relevant than learning styles.
For a classroom discussion example we used the 'backtracking' task.
Google 'tent cards' to find strategies for helping students to have different roles within groups.
This was a valuable professional learning session and fits in well with the goals of our AIP and new Strategic Plan.

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