• "Through others we become ourselves." - Lev Vygotsky

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    Supporting Student Collaboration in the Classroom

    Support student collaboration in your classroom by including student groupings and lesson design, background skills students need to work well with others, community norms for collaboration, and technology and tools that support group work. 

    Let's teach our students to successfully work together to discuss ideas, build community, and solve problems.

    Collaborative Classrooms Support Social-Emotional Learning

    The central elements of cooperative learning are (Johnson & Johnson, 1989)

    • Positive interdependence: When students understand that their success depends on the success of the group, they will take the time to help one another master the material. This builds social awareness and motivates students who may be used to achieving below their potential.
    • Individual and group accountability: Students must also be held accountable both for their own learning and the group work, which promotes self-management, social awareness and responsible decision-making.
    • Promotion of others' success: The teacher helps students develop relationship skills by encouraging students to celebrate one another's efforts and brainstorming positive ways to support peers who are struggling. It is also beneficial to model and have students practice negotiating the specific encounters within their group. For example, the teacher may ask students to brainstorm ideas for how they might appropriately respond to a teammate who is getting off task.
    • Group processing: As students take on more responsibility for their own learning, have them discuss and reflect on how they are doing as a group to guide their participation and promote responsible decision-making.

    What is collaboration? 

    Collaboration - Collaboration is the ability to share ideas and thoughts openly alongside another person and to come up with a combined answer, response and/or solution for a particular topic or issue. It is the ability to combine different notions, beliefs and theories into one concrete explanation and/or solution that is reflective of the diversity of the group itself.



    Below are a few articles to get started! 

    Deepening Student Understanding with Collaborative Discourse

    Collaborative Classrooms Support Social-Emotional Learning

    3 Steps to Supporting the Crusade for Better Student Collaboration

    Planning for Great Group Work

    Making Cooperative Learning Powerful

    Planning for Great Group Work


     "Collaboration is an important 21st Century Skill."

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    Student Conferencing 

    Student-Teacher Conferences are a one-on-one forum that allows both the student and teacher to mutually discuss their concerns, feedback and goals. The duration can vary from a short meeting (3-5 minutes) to a longer meeting (5-15 minutes), depending on the points that need to be addressed. The many benefits of Student-Teacher Conferences makes it a very important and an essential strategy to be incorporated within the classroom. Read More


    Some of the benefits of individual conferences:

    1. Students learn how to expect more of themselves.

    2. The teacher and student constantly renegotiate the teaching-learning process and connect each step to larger learning goals always just beyond their current comfort level.

    3. Students receive constant, timely feedback and clarification that makes the student the lead learner.

    4. Conferences level the playing field for all learners.

    5. Students learn how to manage academic loads.

    6. The student and teacher build a deeper relationship.

    Read the full article: Empower Students Through Individual Conferences



    Providing Students with Substantive Feedback - Mathematics Common Core

    Additional Resources:

    Guiding Student Learning through conferencing