How can collaborative learning be effective?

The partnership of collaboration between the students and I was important to create a climate for learning. The aim is to move from me being the center of the classroom towards students centered learning. We took partnership in planning by using the Google Calendar for our weekly integrated content learning based on the curriculum, big ideas and leaning goals to achieve.

At the end of the block we would collaboratively reflect on our learning of the day and setting the new learning for the following days. The calendar was shared with the students on the classsroom site giving them access to the planning and follow up activities. 

The learning community was established at the start of September by cooperative activities and co-constructed criteria on collaborative learning, goal setting, listening and speaking acts. As the year progressed the criteria was always revisited and developed.

Scaffolding was the key strategy for success in collaborative learning. It was not just conversations; it was accountable talk with consolidations, questioning, building on prior knowledge, students voices heard,  goal setting, reflections and sharing new learning.  The collaborative learning was not all about the content;  the focus was on the contact with each other's voices. 

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