Session 47 – Thursday 26th May 2011

coutesy of @bevevans22

Session Title:
Effective group work: getting pupils learning collaboratively

Session Summary:
This week #ukedchat discussed group work and how to ensure that pupils worked collaboratively. Although not one of the busiest nights we’ve had (except perhaps for me, attempting to moderate via iPhone from a school concert!) it was a great discussion with many new names joining in.

For me, it was a fantastic opportunity to get inspiration about a range of collaborative working strategies and to hear from colleagues from all key stages.

It was illuminating to read the many opinions on whether groups should be teacher led or allow pupils to choose their own workmates. Gender differences were discussed, with the oft assumed myth that girls are better at collaborative tasks than boys seemingly being soundly refuted by most!

I’m attempting to incorporate many of the Kagan cooperative learning structures into my own teaching at the moment, after having been on some great INSET. It was interesting to read about other people’s experiences of the Kagan techniques. I’m enjoying working my way through the structures and adapting them to suit my groups and learners.

There was a reminder from many #ukedchatters that sports provide a fantastic opportunity for collaborative working. Others pointed to ‘simple’ tasks such as putting up a tent as being a great way in to practical collaboration.

There were many great links shared, and I have tried my best to pick them all out. There are sites with links to group task assessment resources as well as experiences of how individual schools and teachers have incorporated group work into their own teaching and learning.

Hope you enjoy the #ukedchat archive from this week. It’s certainly something I will be revisiting to refresh and rejuvenate my own approach to collaborative tasks in my classroom.

Notable Tweets from the Session:
@petermoseley: #ukedchat Have used ‘Jigsawing’ effectively before. Each group researches a topic, then mix groups up with an ‘expert’ in each new group.

@bevevans22: We do collaborative work across classes using Primary Pad, Dabbleboard, Prezi and Lino it – lots of fun #ukedchat

@kenradical: I got a whole class of Year 12s (16 of them) to write the same essay simultaneously using GoogleDoc. Messy but fun #ukedchat

@kenradical: Should we also provide kids with examples of good and bad group work (the Apprentice spring to mind!)???? #ukedchat

@HamptonEnglish: #ukedchat group projects can be fantastically motivating for all students. Goals and expected outcomes for each student must be clear though

@bevevans22: Simple things – like putting up a tent or building a bridge, can be great for making kids pull together and great fun too #ukedchat

@bilehs: assess through filming, observations, recording children’s thoughts and their actual end products #ukedchat

@mikeatedji: #ukedchat Don’t you find completely random group or pair works well…Pupils know there’s no hidden agenda and confound expectations

@learnbuzz: collaborative learning with a real life context offers excellent opportunities to work with others schools here & abroad #ukedchat

@smnhunt: #ukedchat Is assessment that important? Self and peer probably outweighs teacher assessment.

@SimonBainbridge: Modern observation techniques are essential for teachers to get the best feedback & evidence on collaboration! #ukedchat

@deerwood: watching learners solve their own problems is one of the finest moments in teaching for me #ukedchat

@JOHNSAYERS: #ukedchat I have students working independently on a collaborative topic and they carousel round and each task develops oracles to aid

@gillpenny: cooperative learning is now a major element of our methodology throughout whole school and has had very positive impact #ukedchat

@JOHNSAYERS: #ukedchat a simple technique I use is job roles in a company and they have feedback meetings and pitch ideas support aids

@bellaale: (can’t resist) My Y7 & Y8 Ger classes 2day used Edmodo to “chat” 4 revision of qu’s for oral/written exams…and invented quizzes #ukedchat

@headteacher01: #ukedchat the best collaborative learning I see is in EYFS, especially outside, using piles of junk to create amazing structures

@Islington EMAS: Give the kids roles in the groups- reporter, timekeeper etc. #ukedchat espec good for including pupils with EAL

@richspencer1979: #ukedchat ANY group, by definition, is of mixed ability – makes differentiation by role and task essential, not an optional extra…

@colport: Perhaps in a bid to promote collaboration, we should do more outdoor OAA activities to help develop the skills #ukedchat

Tweet/s of the Week:
I found it hard to pick just one, so this week we have four tweets of the week:

This, for me, sums up why collaborative tasks are so vital…

@deerwood: watching learners solve their own problems is one of the finest moments in teaching for me #ukedchat

I thought both these comments insightful… and a reminder of why group work should be planned carefully!

@richspencer1979: #ukedchat ANY group, by definition, is of mixed ability – makes differentiation by role and task essential, not an optional extra…

@HamptonEnglish: #ukedchat group projects can be fantastically motivating for all students. Goals and expected outcomes for each student must be clear though

But this, from @bevevans22 reminded me that sometimes, when it comes to collaboration, simple is the way forward!

@bevevans22: Simple things – like putting up a tent or building a bridge, can be great for making kids pull together and great fun too #ukedchat

WebLinks Highlighted During the Session:
Collaborative Learning Toolkit for 14-19: http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.uk/tlp/pedagogy/tools/cooperative/index.html

Ten Tips for Using Group Work to Engage and Motivate Learners:
http://www.creativeeducation.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/05/group-work/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=Jobs

Collaborative Learning & Teams in the Classroom:
http://community.learningobjects.com/Users/Nancy.Rubin/Objects_of_Interest/2011/05/Collaborative_Learning_Group_and

31 Day Game: http://www.31daygame.net/

Impact of Kagan Structures: http://www.t2tuk.co.uk/downloads/Kagan%20Structures%20Altered%20the%20Way%20I%20Teach%20Forever.pdf

Communication 4 All: Resources to Support Inclusion
http://www.communication4all.co.uk/http/Thinking.htm

Cooperative Learning:
http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/intech/cooperativelearning.htm

Complex Instruction: Raising Achievement through Group Worthy Tasks
http://nrich.maths.org/7013
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article4834334.ece

Mike McSharry talks about Learning FC resources:

Learning FC

@deputymitchell blogs about his Quad Blogging project:
http://mrmitchell.heathfieldcps.net/2010/12/10/quad-blogging-an-idea-now-a-reality/

TED talk from Sugata Mitra on collaborative learning and child-driven education:

Links to lots of fabulous ICT tools via @ICTmagic:
http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/

Andrew Churches site, recommended by @ICTmagic for group work assessment rubrics:
http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/About+Me

@learnbuzz recommended this site for assessment resources:
http://www.edutopia.org/

About Your Host
I’m Lead Practitioner in English at a secondary school in Liverpool.

I’m a huge advocate of the power of Twitter to connect, motivate and engage teachers. I’ve found #ukedchat a source of limitless inspiration and a fantastic way to develop a professional and personal network of educators to share with and learn from.

Picture thanks to @bevevans22

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