Working together as a team is an essential skill that students of all ages can master. Teamwork allows students to grow and learn from one another’s ideas, gives introverted students the opportunity to come out of their shells, and introduces students to new perspectives and experiences that are different from their own. Educators who are looking to introduce more teamwork in their classroom are encouraged to try out one of these three easy strategies!
- Add an incentive. Students can be more engaged with the idea of teamwork if they are incentivized to work alongside their peers. From offering stickers to young students who write and present a story with a friend to offering extra credit for team presentations, there is an endless number of ways to incentivize students to brainstorm as a team.
- Use team projects instead of group work. Many teachers confuse and conflate the ideas of group work and teamwork. Group work is largely independent, even when students are grouped with their peers. For example, if students are all assigned a single problem but they are each required to turn in their own work or paper, this group work will not engage students with their fellow classmates. Instead, introduce an activity in which students turn in a single project that they worked together on. Students who create a group PowerPoint presentation on a history subject or a collaborative art piece receive more exposure to the thoughts and ideas of their peers.
- Try out a blended classroom. If you are able, embrace the blended classroom strategy for a day. Blended classrooms use a series of “labs” centered around different subjects to introduce students to a number of concepts in a single day. Students at each lab work together to solve a communal problem under the leadership of the teacher, who knows each student on an individual level. If you’d like to learn more about introducing your students to the blended classroom model, The Teacher’s Academy offers a blended classroom instructional course as part of their professional development for teachers in Pittsburgh.
Teachers who want to learn more about building a dynamic classroom and who still need to complete their Act 48 hours are encouraged to check out The Teacher’s Academy’s professional development courses for teachers in Harrisburg. Our course catalog includes instruction for teachers of all grades and skill levels and can be found online at https://www.theteachersacademy.com.