Welcome! Please join our network. Download and test out our resources. Adapt them and share your versions with us. Please attend one of our workshops!
We explain here why Collaborative Learning is important for teaching and learning. Please read this brief explanation before you start to look at activities.
Collaborative learning is a teaching style that has evolved over the last thirty years and is still evolving. We support a teacher network that shares resources that scaffold talk either to be used as they are, or tweaked a little to suit different classrooms or to be an inspiration/a template to develop new resources that we hope you will in turn share with us.
We have three aims:
First to develop resources that empower learners by encouraging them to work with every other learner in the class in a playful, but purposeful, way. We want to nurture emotional and social development and make learners confident in sharing what they know....more
Second to make complex ideas accessible by providing ways in which they can be presented in concrete, visual and tactile ways. By taking abstract thinking out of heads and putting it on the table. Not by simplifying but breaking ideas down and presenting them in case studies with lots of detail and examples. By providing scaffolding... more
Third to encourage exploratory talk in the classroom. There is increasing evidence that talk and thinking work together to develop new meanings. There is also now neurological evidence that talk fuels brain development. Unfortunately there is also evidence that talk has been neglected in our classrooms and this has widened the gap in attainment. Talk is good for all learners and vital for children learning a new language while they are learning. Our activities scaffold talk and help teachers plan for the language to support thinking. They also allow learners to move from social language to curriculum/academic talk and from there to confident writing......more
Our project grew out of the "teachers as researchers" initiative in the 1980s and was funded by the Inner London Education Authority. We have always believed that teachers are more creative and develop more engaging and exciting resources when they plan and work collaboratively inside and outside the classroom. These ideas of reflective practice and collaborative planning as a way of transforming education has been most persuasively explored recently in Andy Hargreaves' and Michael Fullan's book "Professional Capital"
And we want these three aims to be realised simultaneously.
Our new partnership with Mantra Lingua has expanded the possibilities for collaborative work. They have taken tried and tested activities. They have produced brilliant new attractive artwork. Their printed versions arrive laminated and the cards are perforated so they can easily be prepared for the classroom. And of course the Mantra versions are sound enabled and you can add more sound stickers if necessary. They are not prerecorded, but ready for a variety of possible uses. Here are some suggestions on how they might be used.
Teachers can add the text - either the text written down or an extended version or a translation. They can make pictures talk. They can provide extra comments or instructions. Children can work together to add sound to an activity, comment on a activity or use it as a springboard to prepare oral presentation. And all the sound files can be shared with Sharelink. In the same way as we share activities and adapt them, Sharelink allows you to upload your sound files into the cloud so that others can download them for use in their classrooms. And you have access to all the sound ideas that colleagues have added to the resources. And the other way round you can download a language that is less common in your school or use other sound files to share ideas about an activity.
Description and history of project and a list of commonly asked questions and answers (in html) or questions and answers in leaflet form in pdf about collaborative learning. Booklet on collaborative learning by Steve Cooke.
Would you like to support our work? We only rely on colleagues to spread the word since the project has no funding for publicity! Please download our little publicity leaflet or our even smaller publicity leaflet and hand it out to colleagues and at courses and workshops. Also if you are interested in hosting a workshop please take a look at how this could benefit your school - information here!
Vital for bilingual learners, good for all other learners.
We have been in London for 30 years and on the net since there was a net, but there are still schools within cycling distance that have not heard about us!
If you like us, please tell others about our network!
That is the best way you can support our work.
10% off our workshop prices for NALDIC, NATE and UKLA members!
More news in our newsletter.......
P.S. Our rather creaky website is being reconstructed to make resources more accessible, work better on ipads, androids, tablets, phones etc. and create room for more activities. Please email me if you find any bad links.