How to Build Collaboration in YOUR Classroom!
We have found that if you take the time to foster and build collaboration in the classroom (YOUR classroom) it can go a long way to creating a happy classroom all year long! You can start your school year with collaborative projects to get started on the right foot or you can jump in any time of the year to help build up your class as a team.
I love collaborating with Brain Waves Instruction, so we got together to bring you these fun ideas for building collaboration in your classroom throughout the year. We created a complete VIDEO of these ideas and supplied a supporting document that has many links and instructions that are outlined in this post. Make sure you watch our video on Teachers Pay Teachers and download the supporting document that goes along with the video. There are many freebies included in the supporting document as well as links to many other helpful resources you’ll want to have!
Building Collaboration in the Classroom: Collaboration Posters
What is a collaboration poster? Just as the name implies, these are posters that students work together to create. Each student gets one page to color and then when the pieces are put together the result is a big, beautiful, mosaic poster. Why do teachers like them? The message is clear – students are important as individuals but better when they work together! Make sure you download the supporting document that goes with our video on Teachers Pay Teachers so you can get links to this FREE “Thank You” poster and many others! I create collaboration posters of all kinds. If you teach social studies I have a ton of historical portraits. If you like to do seasonal or holiday celebrations with your students I have a ton of seasonal collaboration posters as well as designs specifically for your holiday door decorations – classroom decor made easy!
In fact when you sign up for my e-mail list you can download a free “We Heart Math” collaboration poster right away!
Building Collaboration in the Classroom: Large into Small
A great way to build collaboration in your classroom is to divide large-scale projects into parts and have students work on them together. There is no doubt you already have a TON of activities you assign to your students that could be broken down into smaller chunks and then done collaboratively. Here are a few special ones that Brain Waves Instruction likes to use!
A file folder book project works perfectly for group work. Each student can work on a particular section of the project. The end result is a file folder all about a book students read!
Build collaboration with fun Homework Twists! Just staple a homework twist task card to any assignment and instantly increase students’ engagement. The best part? Many of the tasks require students to work together and collaborate!
Make parents a collaborative part of your classroom with this free Growth Mindset Open House activity! Students and parents work on a growth mindset task together!
Make your daily warm-up, reading responses and even writing collaborative, too! It’s easy with the This or That ELA series of resources! Pair students up and each student can do one ½ of the assignment! Check out all the FREE SAMPLES Brain Waves Instruction has supplied in the supporting document of our video on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Brain Waves Instruction is ALWAYS giving away great things to teachers. If you aren’t already on her e-mail list be sure to sign up HERE to get 5 FREE creative writing activities right away!
Building Collaboration in the Classroom: Bottle Tops
Use something ordinary like bottle tops and make an extraordinary collaboration project! Students will need to work together to collect tops and figure out their design! In my Collaboration in YOUR Classroom teaching video (for teachers) on Teachers Pay Teachers I show you how to do this, but if you want a quick sneak at it here it is…
It doesn’t stop there. I have created many collaborative projects using bottle tops – but the largest one I ever made was this Arizona Flag for our state’s centennial celebration. Read about this bottle top flag HERE. Bottle tops are just one ordinary object your students can collect to up-cycle into group projects. You can also have them collect water bottles to make fish, cereal boxes to design their own shoes and even your scrap crayons to make new crayons! Read about a collection of these ideas HERE.
Building Collaboration in the Classroom: Reflection
After students have completed a collaborative project or worked together as a team, give them a chance to reflect on the idea of teamwork. You might have them complete a reflection, learn about metaphors, and then create a pennant banner with the word “TEAM!” We have supplied all of this for you HERE.
Brain Waves Instruction and I certainly love to collaborate. That is why we came together to make this video for you. You can WATCH IT HERE and download the supporting document to get all the handouts and instructions I have described in this post!
Can you do us a favor?
We’d love it if you pinned this image so other teachers could also use these ideas in THEIR classrooms!
Thank you for all you do in the classroom!
Jenny K. & Mary Beth