Collaborative learning or group work is one of the most trending learning practices. Teachers put some students together in a group and assign a certain task to them. The core philosophy behind this learning methodology is to let children learn from the activity and one another.
You will find children from different backgrounds and varied levels of intellect in a Montessori School in Tokyo. When these students work together, they share thoughts and ideas to help each other see things from different perspectives.
The concept recently gained popularity, but almost every international school in Tokyo has used this for its students for a long time. This learning practice shows effective results and contributes a lot to the holistic development of a child. The educators should only ensure their strategies work well for the best results.
Strategies for Effective Group Work
Wisely Select Students for a Group
If you put like-minded students in a group, they will not learn anything new through this activity. The right way to plan groups is to club students with different levels of intellect, most of which have varied perspectives to share. Each student can learn something from the other. There will be differences in opinions, and real learning will happen when they find common ground to move toward their final goal.
Group Sizing Matters
The next thing that matters the most is the group size. Finalize the number of students in a group based on your assigned task. Groups with too many students create chaos, and no one has anything to learn from them. At the same time, smaller groups need more students to perform the tasks and learn the desired lessons from them.
Guide Students throughout the Process
If you wish to implement this learning practice in a Montessori School in Tokyo, know that you are dealing with young minds. They will only benefit from collaborative learning if their educators guide them. It is crucial to first train students about this learning practice and tell them the expectations at the end of the activity. If you see them not interacting with each other well, make them do that because the entire idea of group learning is effective interaction.
Set Clear Expectations
Group activities at an International School in Tokyo can become apathetic if you do not convey the goals. Every task or project you assign to the group should have clear goals, and you should convey them to the students right from the beginning. They should also know the final expected outcome so there is no scope for distractions. Teachers should make sure that the final goals they set are realistic and achievable by the students.
When it comes to evaluation, the teachers should always be fair. Judge each group on different parameters and ensure you do not get into unhealthy comparisons. It is crucial to give individual feedback because every student needs to know how he individually performed. The ideal strategy is to reward based on categories. There can be separate awards for best research, best interactions, and likewise. It will give every child a much-needed confidence boost.
With these simple strategies, you can plan effective group work or collaborative learning setups in the classroom. Keep evaluating the impact it is leaving on your students to be sure about the results you get. It is crucial to keep changing groups for different activities, as sticking to one would mean restricting the child’s growth. Divide your class of students, putting varied intellects in one group, assign them their projects, and let the group work to help in effective learning.