Collaborative Learning and EAL learners Newport 17th March 2008
The Game of MUD Blank Fog Mud Cactus Forest
EAL learners needs Blank This means total ignorance. Never heard of it. Fog I have difficulty with this. My mind switches off...was badly taught... it just bores me... Mud A more comfortable natural state. Yes, something stirring there. I might remember with a little help. But FACTS... I couldnt actually...dont ask me. Cactus Well yes, for what its worth, I know this...and this...and this...one, two, three...and thats my lot. Forest At home with this. Plenty of facts. Could write an essay, give a lecture. Move over and Ill show you.
What is Collaborative Learning? Interactive activities Carefully structured Accessible to all Promotes speaking, listening and thinking
How does collaborative learning help thinking? Visual/kinesthetic support for concept development Opportunities to value prior knowledge Supportive environments to formulate new ideas Opportunities to rework/reword ideas and provide time for reflection
How does collaborative learning help thinking? Opportunities to revisit learning in attractive ways Templates for pupils to develop their own activities Scaffolds talk at all levels simultaneously Provides tasks that model thinking processes Transformation of information
How are activities planned? What do we want the children to know? What kinds of thinking do we hope they will practice? What kinds of language do they need? Necessary language and potential language? What key visuals best produce the thinking and the language?
Here is an example!! We want children to consider the different habitats of animals. Where do they live? What is it like there? Why do they live there? How do they survive and/or thrive?
What key visual will help their thinking? Initially a sorting grid or chart.
This can be made into a game. You need 4 people, one baseboard and two sets of cards (different colours.) Work with a partner to make a team of two. Shuffle your cards and place them in a pile facing down. Take it in turn to turn over your top card and decide where to put it on the board. The winning team gets four in row vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Decide whether to have challenges or a checking system.
Your instructions! Take a sample Quicklook Study it carefully in pairs. What learning needs, language needs, social needs does it address? What language and thinking does it practice? Would it work for your EAL learners? What changes might be necessary? Now leave your partner, and each of you find another colleague with a different Quicklook. Explain your activity to your new partner and let your new partner explain theirs to you. If there is time, exchange your Quicklooks, and find another partner to repeat the process.
Who benefits from collaborative learning? Everyone and in particular More able bilingual pupils Challenging pupils Independent learners Children with mismatched skills
Where can I find collaborative learning activities? Collaborative Learning Project www.collaborativelearning.org Please browse through the Quicklooks on the website and download one full activity to try out on your EAL learners and/or your colleagues back at school.
Collaborative Learning Project A teacher network since 1983 Developed in challenging and multilingual classrooms Cross phase and cross curricular Online library of sample strategies: templates to support your own planning. Good enough to use and to tweak. Promotes collaborative planning through workshops and training throughout UK.