Class norms represent the behavior expectations that support the
core concepts of trust, sharing, belonging and respect.
Collaborative skills are the specific ways in which students are
expected to behave in order to achieve class norms. After norms
have been developed, collaborative skills are assessed, prioritized
Collaborative skills that we have identified as promoting the core
concepts and supporting class norms are listed below. This list
of collaborative skills has been used successfully by instructional
teams to identify skills that address the ways students and teachers
should interact to realize class norms. The list is not exhaustive
and some classrooms may have to add skills to fully meet their needs.
Students can be involved in identifying and prioritizing collaborative
skills by, for example, discussing and listing behaviors which support
the norms, or byworking jointly with the teacher to select skills
from the list.Selecting a collaborative skill to teach is really
just a matter of choosing a place to begin. The class norms that
students have not already mastered, as well as the collaborative
skills that support them, must eventually be taught and incorporated
into students repertoire of skills.
The instructional team should set aside a 20-30 minute block of
instructional time each week for initial instruction on collaborative
skills. The goal is to introduce one new skill each week. The team
should also identify one or more daily interactive activities (partner
activities, small group activities) during which the students can
practice using the collaborative skill. The activity can be from
any curriculum area (e.g., science, math, art, music, reading) as
long as it provides students opportunities to practice the collaborative
skill. Following each interactive activity, an additional 5 minutes
is needed for the students to process how well they used the skill
during the activity and to set goals for improvement, if needed.
Defining and describing what collaborative skills look and sound
like make the skills concrete and real to students.
The description provides a specific guide of how students are to
behave and defines how the model behavior should look and sound.
A T-Chart is a graphic organizer, which can be employed to
describe what a collaborative skill looks like and sounds
like. Click here to see a sample