Not every classroom has the space for many segmented areas to be used for specific activities — instead consider creating a general collaboration center that can be used for small group work, centers, teacher and student one-on-one time, and flexible seating spaces. Check out these ideas for setting up, organizing, and utilizing your classroom collaboration center.
Teaching Students How to Use the Collaboration Center
Teamwork and genuine collaboration takes practice, and some students will benefit from short practice sessions and modeling. One tip is to divide your students into small groups and assign them a small task or project to work on together as a group. Then have each group get together in the collaboration center (one at a time) to work on the project for a short period of time. Use this first time in the collaboration center to highlight positive “teamwork” behaviors and to let the group on deck watch how the previous group is getting started.
During this modeling time, students can learn more about how to avoid making mistakes when collaborating and how to cooperate as a team when trying to incorporate every member’s ideas.
Here are some fun teamwork-themed anchor charts from Pinterest:
Collaboration Centers: Keeping Them Clutter Free
Different projects and unique groups of students may require tools and supplies to complete their tasks. Of course, some activities require very specific tools and supplies, but when a more open-ended teamwork task is assigned, it can boost creativity to offer students a wider range of supplies to use.
Creating a collaboration center that is prepared for open-ended problem solving and group activities means getting organized. Check out these tools for organizing a collaboration center and keeping them clutter-free:
Teacher Favorite Tools for Classroom Collaboration Projects
Collaboration projects are a great way to help students learn to communicate effectively and work as a team to accomplish a task. When it comes to tools, there are a few basics that have become teacher-favorites and make these team-oriented projects easier to get started.
More Collaboration Inspiration & Ideas
Are you looking for more ideas and ways to bring collaboration and teamwork into your classroom this year? Check out the hundreds of other blogs on The Schoolyard and the thousands of exciting products and tools available through the School Specialty online store. Be sure to stop by the Back to School category page to see what’s new.