Hello all

This past fortnight I have attended INSET sessions at NES and the TeachMeet’s at BAA and both have spoken about the value of collaborative learning so in this bulletin I would like to talk a little about a collaborative learning strategy that I have planned into a Year 10 lesson (lesson 9). Before I do here is some information from the EEF about collaborative learning:

What is collaborative learning?

A cooperative learning approach that involves pupils working together on activities or learning tasks in a group small enough for everyone to participate on a collective task that has been clearly assigned. Pupils in the group may work on separate tasks contributing to a common overall outcome, or work together on a shared task.

How effective can it be?

The impact of collaborative approaches on learning is consistently positive. However, the size of impact varies, so it is important to get the detail right. Effective collaborative learning requires much more than just sitting pupils together and asking them to work in a group; structured approaches with well-designed tasks lead to the greatest learning gains. There is some evidence that collaboration can be supported with competition between groups, but this is not always necessary, and can lead to learners focusing on the competition rather than the learning it aims to support. Approaches which promote talk and interaction between learners tend to result in the best gains.

More information from the EEF can be found here: EEF on Collaborative Learning

Numbered Heads Together

This is my long term favorite collaborative learning strategy. If you haven’t heard of it before here is a video detailing its structure: Numbered Heads Together in action

Numbered Heads Together

In my experience using this strategy motivates students to share their expertise and listen to each other, value alternative approaches and makes the whole team accountable. The clear, timed structure reduces opportunities for students to become off task too. If you haven’t used this approach before please try it this half term (even if you don’t teach Year 10) and let me know how it goes!

Useful Websites

Thank you to Paul at NES and Michelle at BWA for recently sharing with their departments some of the following:

Increasingly difficult questions – stretch and challenge within practice

SSDD Problems – Same surface, Different Deep Structure from Craig Barton

Variation Theory – intelligent, varied practice from Craig Barton

Maths Visuals at KS2 – fabulous animations for basic numeracy

BossMaths – lesson powerpoints for every single Mathematical concept in the curriculum

There are so many fantastic resources online, do continue to share what you find!

Hope you all have a great week

Kind Regards