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Benefits of Collaborative Learning Activities, Techniques & Strategies In The Classroom

Benefits of Collaborative Learning Activities, Techniques & Strategies In The Classroom

How frequently have your teachers provided collaborative learning experiences for students? What strategies did the teacher use to help students maintain focus and attain the objectives?

Most of my teachers very frequently provided collaborative learning experiences for the students from kindergarten and elementary school all the way through the high school years. Most of all, from kindergarten through 5th grade, I can remember weekly team or group work with other students in science (mainly science experiments), reading activities, group art projects (such as the big world map on our blacktop), and solving difficult math problems together. In 3rd grade Math, my class seemed to be having some difficulties in fractions and decimals so we were put in small groups of 3 or 4 and have contests to see who could problem solve the quickest for "fraction" prizes. That definitely was effective in helping us learn, who wouldn't want to win .25 of a pizza or 1/3 of a pie as an objective goal (group also divided the rewards into fractions too!)? :) In middle school I mainly just remember collaborative learning in science classes and foods class. In highschool we used it in several classes: Biology, Art/Drama, English, Social Studies/History, Music, P.E., etc. 

How effectively do you think social constructivist strategies (scaffolding, cognitive apprenticeship, tutoring, and cooperative learning) can be used at each of Kindergarten, Elementary school, Middle school, and High school?

• Scaffolding is effectively used for all types of students of all ages from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school because it bridges learning gaps, builds stronger understanding and greater independence in the learning process, leads students from what they already know to a deep understanding of new material, and provides support to the students at every step of the learning process which gives them need confindence.

• Students of all ages in in every grade from kindergarten up to high school can benefit from cognitive apprenticeship because all students can visibally see the processes of work. The students can observe, enact, and practice with help from the teacher who model the strategies and activities necessary to solve problems, while providing appropriate scaffolds. It encourages students to set their own achievable goals and promotes problem solving by hands-on "doing" instead of just memorization.   

• The advantages of the one-on-one and face-to-face instruction of tutoring is great for students of every age, especially in elementary and middle school where students need extra help in improving study habits, learning productive time skills, improving social and behavioral skills, and improving knowledge based on a particular field. For example, I greatly benefited from one-on-one tutoring in Math in 6th grade.

• Cooperative Learning Strategies are effective for all types of students of all ages from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school because it promotes learning and respect/friendships among diverse groups of students. Peers learn to depend on each other in a positive way for a variety of learning tasks, learn to interact, help and respect, and encourage each other, share, give and accept feedback, and solve problems together which is how the real world works.



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