The STEM Education Blog

Making Your Classroom a Collaborative Space

Oct 30, 2018 11:11:00 AM / by Christine Naab

Collaboration is a skill that today’s students will need for the rest of their lives. It is essential not only in the classroom but also in the workforce, as well as everyday life. It is crucial to instill these skills in students early-on. This can be achieved from creating an environment in which collaboration thrives in your classroom, and we have gathered a few ways to do that in this post.

For specifics about how to encourage collaboration during classroom activities, download and read this resource: Encouraging Collaboration in STEM.

 

Place Students in Small, Diverse Groups

Often placing students in pre-selected groups pushes them outside of their comfort zone by removing them from the comfort of typical friend circles. Though initially uncomfortable, this can be one of the best ways to encourage collaboration in your classroom because each student in the group are likely to have new ideas and different outlooks to share. It is important to split students into groups of 4-6 people, keeping them manageable without being too small. Additionally, when pairing students up, make the groups as diverse as you can, offering an equal mix of boys and girls in each group to expose students to new ways of thinking. This should result in better collaboration.

 

Create Group Goals

While a great place to start, being paired in a group does not foster a collaborative classroom on its own. Creating group goals can help get a student group started. With an incentive to do well and win some type of prize at the end, students will be more inclined to work together to meet their goals and inevitably earn the reward.

 

Use Shared Technology

Additionally, sharing technology among students in your classroom can result better collaboration while saving a large amount of money. Technology tends to create excitement among students, whether it be a new robot or 3D printer, and often students are more inclined to work together when it is included, eager to try it out.

By using these methods, your classroom will be well on its way to becoming a more collaborative space. As a teacher, you will see your students benefit both academically and socially as a result.

Christine Naab

Written by Christine Naab

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