Collaborative Groups for HFW

 The other night I was thinking about how much I love collaborative group work.  Although teaching how to work collaboratively can be tough in kinder, I believe the benefits are well worth it.  Working collaboratively encourages students to communicate, cooperate, and participate.  It asks them to work towards a common goal and also provides opportunity for peer teaching.  It is a skill that students will use not only in the classroom but in their everyday lives.  With standards focusing on "college and career readiness"  it has to be noted that knowing how to work in collaborative groups is very important.   

As a teacher I'm always thinking of ways to get my kids working collaboratively and I don't just mean in centers.  Yes, I feel they are learning many of these skills during center work, but when I say collaborative group work I mean working together towards one goal.  So how about having them work collaboratively on high frequency words?  Every primary school teacher spends time teaching their students high frequency words.  We sing songs, play games, do centers, complete printables etc.  We are continuously trying to think of fun new ways to teach these words and make sure that our little ones know them inside and out!   So...

Many teachers use a printable like this in centers or possibly for independent work so why not take this idea and turn it into something more.

I'd call it HFW Collaborative Teams.  I would place students in groups of 3-4 and then together as a team they would have to read, write, find, and build a high frequency word that we are currently learning.
Here's how it'd work...

1. Read
Students would be given a flash card with their high frequency word on it.  Sitting in a circle they would pass the card around and each person reads it aloud.  They would do this 3 times and then check of "read" from their task sheet.

2. Write
Next students would each take turns writing the word on one sheet of paper.  Each student needs to write the word once.  After all students have written, the group can check off "write" from their task sheet.

3. Find it
Students will use their book baskets to "hunt"  for the word in books.  Together they need to find it 4 times.  They will place a sticky note on the books where they have found it.  After finding the word 4 times they can check off "find it" from their task.

4. Build it
Lastly, as a team students will need to decide how to build the word from given materials (I will provide a HFW word material box from which students can pull).  They need to all agree on what they will do then create the word.  Depending on materials in the box, some ideas might be making a collage word, building the word with blocks, rainbow writing the word, using pasta to outline the word etc.  I imagine this being created on a larger scale possibly poster size.  Once they have built the word they can check off "build it" from their task sheet.

After all students have finished we will take time to share out our group creations.  Also I would have my students complete a "how'd it go"  reflection sheet in regards to how they worked collaboratively. Possibly something like this.  
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Creative Clips by Krista Wallden @ 
Would you try this in your class?  Do you do collaborative group work?

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