Creativity and innovation includes both thinking creatively and working creatively with others to tie in adaptability, leadership, and team-work.Building in opportunities for students to practise idea-generation techniques, such as brainstorming or brainwriting, mind-mapping, storyboarding, or visualisation, will bolster their abilities to create and innovate, while at the same time promote communication, collaboration, and critical thinking and problem-solving.Let’s consider them not individually but as part of a toolkit to transform learning and teaching in our classrooms.Steve Burnage has experience leading challenging inner city and urban secondary schools. Try to keep a gender balance in each group.Use scaffolding: Structure and scaffold group learning tasks at the beginning of a project. Furthermore, it has been proven that supportive teacher-student relationships have a positive impact on class participation, engagement and ultimately a student’s achievements. Students can listen to or read along with audiobooks to hear how the speaker pronounces and enunciates different words or phrases. You might set a timer for short informal conversations and challenge students to use open-ended questions. This can have significant effects and demoralize students. Snowballing – start off like a think, pair, share activity but, after pairing move on to groups of four, eight and then 16 before opening up discussion to the whole class. A schoolteacher's answer key every Wednesday What else can you tell by observing the expressions and body language of both people in the conversation?” – can help us teach and model effective communication.Use technology: From audiobooks to apps, there is a multitude of technological resources you can use to develop effective communication skills. In SecEd, I have already tackled critical thinking (February 2018: http://bit.ly/2EXUbLQ) and creativity (April 2018: http://bit.ly/2L5ebRl). These can be done verbally or through written assignments that give students the chance to answer questions creatively using their own words and expressions.Find teachable moments: Whatever the age group you are working with, maximise on the everyday happenings in the classroom environment. Effective collaborative learning involves the establishment of group goals, as well as... 2. Wakelet’s collections are easy to share and can … When introducing a new idea or concept, take the opportunity to break up the class into discussion groups of two or three. Not only does it offer students the chance to work in small groups, thereby reducing some of the pressure, but it also gives them the opportunity to debate their opinions, take turns, and work together towards a common goal. Open communication is key.For larger tasks, create group roles: The more challenging a task, the clearer individual roles, responsibilities and accountabilities need to be.Consider using a range of group interaction strategies:The jigsaw technique – each group only has part of “the jigsaw” and must work with other groups in the class to solve the problem collaboratively.Snowballing – start off like a think, pair, share activity but, after pairing move on to groups of four, eight and then 16 before opening up discussion to the whole class.Six thinking hats – Edward DeBono’s well-known strategy to encourage learners to think from one (or more than one) perspective.Elephant on the bus – a development of six thinking hats where learners are encouraged to think from a variety of creative perspectives to solve a problem and then share their ideas with the whole group.There are plenty of other strategies to be found online. Here, I want to explore the role that communication and collaboration has in developing future learners. In terms of modeling, this might be the most important. Respect is the foundation of effective communication, especially in the classroom. Collaboration and communication involve being able to read the vast number of verbal and nonverbal cues that we all use to communicate our ideas and emotions. SecEd prides itself on being written by teachers, for teachers and offering a positive and constructive voice for Instead of teaching the same lesson plan to an entire class, educators should focus on the 5 Cs—collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical and computational thinking—to foster greater learning. When communication is effective, both the student and the teacher benefit. Not only does it offer students the chance to work in small groups, thereby reducing some of the pressure, but it also gives them the opportunity to debate their opinions, take turns, and work together towards a common goal.Ask open-ended questions: Because they require more than a one or two-word response, open-ended questions are vital for inspiring discussion and demonstrating that there are multiple ways to perceive and answer a question. We aimed to move beyond a general sense that cooperation is productive and identify in detail what good collaboration looks like, and how teachers can assess it formatively. While problem-based learning grounded in finding both conventional and creative solutions to unfamiliar problems can be a powerful way to incorporate team-work and collaboration into any lesson. Nurturing this kind of interactive and engaging teaching environment demands regular and effective communication. Sometimes just lending an ear can be extremely useful in promoting a supportive and caring environment. Communication and collaboration are intrinsic parts of what we do every day in schools – and yet the breadth of their meaning is hard to pin down. 'Empty words' – Teens agree with Greta's attack on ... Gap in library provision for FSM students. Visit www.simplyinset.co.uk and read his previous articles for SecEd, including the previous pieces in this series, at http://bit.ly/2u1KW9e. For example, if a student answers a question in a complicated way, you might ask that they rephrase what they said, or challenge the class to ask clarifying questions. Consider using a range of group interaction strategies: The jigsaw technique – each group only has part of “the jigsaw” and must work with other groups in the class to solve the problem collaboratively.
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