Our Students Collaborate to Learn

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Collaboration is another method we use to teach life lessons through purposeful education.  Learning how to work with others is something every adult needs to know.  No one operates in a silo.  Teaching children how to collaborate at this primary school level will give them the skills they can build on in middle, high school, and beyond.

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We use project-based learning

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This is not the 1900s.  The concept of a teacher standing in front of a classroom and lecturing on and on should be left in the past. Our teachers will instead pose a question to the class – take the example “What is Science?”  The class will break up into groups and together work out the answer.  This allows for individuals to contribute their knowledge or opinions. What is science to Jacob?  What is science to Jessica? They learn from each other, which is confidence building.  When they’ve come to a conclusion, the group will make a presentation to the class.  Together they will present their response to the question.  It’s then that a teacher will help the students find the right answers.  Students are rewarded with the confidence that they can figure things out for themselves!  (Maybe sometimes with a little help.)

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We collaborate through play-based learning

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Forcing a student – especially a younger student – to sit still all day is the best way to make sure they are not taking in information.  We get our kids moving often throughout the school day.  We might have them stand up and physically act out a problem – such as a math problem.  They collaborate on the problem.  Together they figure out who should represent which part of the problem.  An example is this math question:  A zookeeper feeds 7 fish to 2 hippos each and 4 fish to 2 alligators each.  The group of students would decide who is the zookeeper, who is the hippo and so on.   They have fun acting out the math problem and they also figure out the answer (22).  Much more fun than when a teacher writes the problem out on a chalkboard, right?

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Our students direct their collective education

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Throughout the school day, our teachers find ways to put various ideas to a class vote.  It might be whether they should move the classroom outside.  Or whether they should study reading or writing first.  Students learn this is not an individual learning environment.  It’s not every child out for him or herself. The collective group is deciding the direction of its education.  This is another example of purposeful education.  It builds confidence because it gives kids a voice.  They also learn respect for each other.  It is not just about me!  What does Katie want to do?  Well maybe I’ll go along with that today and tomorrow it will be my turn.

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