• II-B-2: Collaborative Learning Environment
    Unsatisfactory
    Needs Improvement
    Proficient
    Exemplary
    Makes little effort to teach interpersonal, group, and communication skills or facilitate student work in groups, or such attempts are ineffective. Teaches some interpersonal, group, and communication skills and provides some opportunities for students to work in groups. Develops students' interpersonal, group, and communication skills and provides opportunities for students to learn in groups with diverse peers. Teaches and reinforces interpersonal, group, and communication skills so that students seek out their peers as resources. Is able to model this practice.
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    What instructional practices should be observed? What student impacts should be expected?
    For TEACHERS this may look like.
    1. Teacher does not refer to any interpersonal skills that students need to work effectively in groups.

    1. Teacher may refer to interpersonal skills that students need to work effectively in groups, but does not model or revisit these skills.

    1. Teacher explicitly names and models interpersonal skills that students need to work effectively in groups, models these skills, and provides opportunities for students to practice the skills.

    1. Teacher explicitly names and models interpersonal skills that students need to work effectively in groups, models these skills, and provides ongoing opportunities for students to practice and develop the skills.

    1. Teacher rarely allows students to work together on class activities, and few activities are designed to be collaborative.

    1. Teacher allows students to work together on class activities, but few activities are designed to be cooperative or collaborative.

    1. Teacher engages students in cooperative, collaborative learning activities in which they must rely on each other to be successful.

    1. Teacher engages students in cooperative learning activities in which they must rely on each other to be successful, as well as community building activities that allow students to develop relationships with their peers.

    1. Teacher always allows students to choose their groups, or always assigns students to the same group, regardless of the nature of the activity.

    1. Teacher usually allows students to choose their groups, or usually assigns students to the same group, regardless of the nature of the activity.

    1. Teacher uses a variety of grouping strategies that support student learning, such as allowing students to choose their groups or assigning students to groups.

    1. Teacher consistently uses a variety of grouping strategies that maximize student learning and build on students' strengths, such as allowing students to choose their groups or assigning students to groups.

    1. Teacher fails to provide students with instruction on how to work together.

    1. Teacher provides students with some instruction on how to work together but rarely communicates explicit roles for group work or monitors collaborative work.

    1. Teacher provides clear expectations for how students should collaborate, such as instruction on how to work together and explicit roles for group work.

    1. Teacher provides clear expectations for how students should collaborate, such as instruction on how to work together, explicit roles for group work.

    As a result, the IMPACT on STUDENTS may be...
    1. Students are not asked or expected to listen to or respond to each other.

    1. When prompted by the teacher, students struggle to listen to and respond to each other.

    1. When prompted by the teacher, students listen to and respond appropriately to each other.

    1. Without prompting from the teacher, students listen to and respond appropriately to each other.

    1. Students do not work respectfully or productively in pairs or groups, with some students failing to contribute or accomplish the assigned task.

    1. Students work respectfully in pairs or groups, but participate unevenly and do not all accomplish the assigned task.

    1. Students work respectfully and productively in pairs or groups, with each student contributing and accomplishing the assigned task.

    1. Students work respectfully, productively, and equitably in pairs or groups, and students seek each other out as resources when necessary.

    1. Students do not employ any conflict resolution strategies or engage the teacher when there is a disagreement.

    1. Students immediately request teacher intervention, without first employing any other conflict resolution strategies.

    1. Students employ conflict resolution strategies to resolve any disagreements.

    1. Students communicate proactively to prevent conflict, and employ conflict resolution strategies to resolve any disagreements.

    Name Description Type
    Remake Your Class: Building a Positive Learning Environment Series shows how designers and school volunteers helped a middle school teacher transform his crowded classroom into a space that fosters collaboration, creativity and active student learning. Video features a determined middle school teacher who transforms his classroom space to enable deeper learning and effective teamwork-with help from his students, community volunteers and a few experts. Video
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    Resource Name Description Type
    LEARNING TOGETHER AND ALONE. (Johnson, D.W. and R.T. Johnson) Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1991. This book explores essential components of cooperative learning that must be planned for group activities. These include: (1) positive interdependence; (2) face-to-face promotive interaction; (3) individual accountability and personal responsibility; (4) interpersonal and small-group skills; and (5) group processing. Book
    FLEXIBLE GROUPING FOR LITERACY IN THE ELEMENTARY GRADES. Radencich, M. and L. McKay (eds.). Boston, Mass.: Allyn & Bacon, 1995. Leading educators show how research illustrates that ability grouping does not usually benefit overall achievement and can often lead to inequalities of achievement. They conclude that most teachers should encourage flexible grouping using a variety of grouping formats. Book
    Cohen, E.G. "Restructuring the Classroom: Conditions for Positive Small Groups." REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH 64, no.1 (1994): 1-35. Cohen illustrates three common structures for cooperative learning: (1) assignment of individual students to specific responsibilities within a larger group task or project; (2) assignment of students to work together on a common project or task; (3) assignment of students to groups to study and be responsible for group members' learning, where the group objective is the achievement of all group members. Article
    Fuchs, D., L. Fuchs, P. Mathes, and D. Simmons. "Peer Assisted Learning Strategies: Making Classrooms More Responsive to Diversity." AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL 34 (1997): 174-206. The authors identify how groups can effectively address diversity within inclusive classrooms. They provide evidence that group work on academic tasks can facilitate improved student learning. Article
    Hendrix, J.C. "Connecting Cooperative Learning and Social Studies." THE CLEARING HOUSE 73, no.1 (September/October, 1999): 57-60. The author shows that students learn better through active involvement in activities, small-group interaction, and cooperative learning. The cooperative-learning model is presented for middle and high school social studies classes, but strategies provided here can be adapted to all subjects in most grades. Article
    Cooperative Group Responsibilities This worksheet lists expectations for students when working in a cooperative group Guidance Doc
    How Collaborative Learning Leads to Student Success This article addresses how teachers encourage students to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge, which leads to deeper learning and understanding. Article
    Collaborative Learning Project This website lists cooperative learning activities and resources in all subject areas and for all ages. Website
    Cooperative Learning Tips and Techniques Learn group management tips and common techniques used to facilitate cooperative learning experiences in your classroom. Worksheet
    Elementary Lesson Plan: Recognizing Community Settings Using Visual Cues This lesson plan outlines how students work in cooperative groups to recognize community settings using visual cues. Lesson Plan
    Elementary Lesson Plan: What's in a Biography? Students work in learning teams to research the characteristics of a good biography and produce a biography. Lesson Plan
    Role Cards A sampling of roles and responsibilities for cooperative group work Resource Cards
    Do you have a resource that you want to recommend for this element? Email us at eval@bostonpublicschools.org with the subject line "Interactive Rubric Resource Recommendation" in the email