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Cindy Jack

on 8 November 2013

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Transcript of Collaboration

Skills Needed
There are three critical things children need to learn to navigate the school culture:

waiting, taking turns, and sharing
conflict resolution
play skills

Collaboration is not inborn. The desire to have a friend and be a friend may be inborn, but the skills needed to execute this desire are learned. When children don't know how to wait, take turns, and share space and things: resolve conflicts: or enter and exit play, the result is often chaos.

Children who learn how to share and take turns and who begin to internalize that others have feelings and needs move more smoothly through their daily lives at school than children who haven't yet learned these skills.

Small Group Play

Teach children to understand their social worlds, helping them to be able to play in small and large groups
Tech them to join ongoing play by having the ask "how can I play" adding the how gives the children the opportunity to become creative with the new child joining


• Simple comments
• Use appropriate language
• Check your non-verbal cues
• Slow and steady wins the race
How to Help Teach Children to Wait, to Take Turns, and to Share...
Help Children Express Their Needs and Set Limits
At birth, children are primed for social activity. They yearn to create relationships — to relate, communicate, collaborate — and have a basic need for belonging and feeling needed by others. Cooperation is a key part of relating to others and forging meaningful relationships. Through team building and collaboration, a child learns to respect others and to control his own immediate needs and impulses.

• Collaboration is a learned skill
• Use a variety of methods to teach collaboration
• Teachers must model how to take turns, wait, share, resolve conflicts, use assertive
language, enter into play, and reject play graciously.
• Develop a classroom culture of collaboration.
• Helping children to express their needs and setting limits means recognizing passive,
assertive and aggressive behaviors.
• Have a variety of ready-made scripts prepared in your “tool-box.”
• Convey the belief that conflicts CAN be resolved. Model a positive conflict-resolution
Interactions to Support Conflict Resolution
Conflict Resolution Wheel
Conflict Resolution
Emotions Chart


Take turns building block tower with the child.
“My turn, your turn.”


Set up doctor’s office with waiting room
Bakery with number tickets
Grocery story checkout
Ordering a meal at the counter
Working and playing well with others requires more than just "being nice."

To be able to collaborate children need to learn how to take turns, solve social problems and share community space and stuff. Some children even need help to learn how to play cooperatively.

Families are constantly sending children messages about what kinds of behaviors they expect of them. Some cultural traditions dictate, for example, that all toys in the household belong to all the children even those toys that have been given to one child as a birthday gift. In other households children have their own belongings over which they can dictate who can join in and who cannot. (stand up for their rights using force or just walk away)


Empowers children.
Organizes understanding of the world around them.
Use sparingly
Interesting, visual, concrete


Visual cues + listening to teacher
Learn to manage waiting lists with
minimal adult help
Internalizes a valuable life skill


Helps child to predict his turn
Develops listening skills
Decorate a small branch

“Excuse me” “I’m sorry”
Help to communicate meaning and intent
Dual language learners and special needs
“I want to play alone right now.”
“You can look at it if you give it right back.”
“Can I have a turn when you are done?”


Good way to introduce the concept of sharing
Let child help set the table for snack time
Pass out paper or markers for large group activity


Develops respect for personal property of others
May be a new concept for some children
Use concrete props & visual cues, eventually phase out use
Carpet squares or masking tape
Individual dishpans at water table
“I’m playing here.”
Help Children Calm Down
When children are in this highly charged emotional state the thinking part of the brain goes on vacation while the "emotional brain" takes charge
First step in conflict resolution is to use emotional regulation skills to move from an emotionally charged state of mind to a thinking state of mind
Acknowledge that their is conflict and suggest strategies to calm emotions
Conflict Resolution consists of five steps

1. Calming down

2. Talking about what they need and listening to what their playmate needs

3. Understanding the conflict

4. Thinking about and trying ways to solve the conflict

5. Going back to resolve the conflict again if the first solution does not work
Keep your comments neutral (assigning blame is only sure to escalate emotions)
When children feel heard, they often calm down enough to move on to the next step
Help Children Say What They Need and Want
Let children talk until they wind down
And then ask the critical questions: "What is it that you want?"
Focus on what he child wants not on what happened earlier
Goal is to have a simple need/want statement from each child (Reframe)
Help Children Find Resolutions
What are you going to do?
Tell me some ideas.
How could you solve this conflict?
What could you do now that is helpful?
What could you do to resolve your conflict?
As tempting as it is to jump in, save time and solve the conflict yourself control your impulses children will only learn the process by stretching and practicing
Evaluate Solutions
When solutions work give children descriptive feedback to focus their attention on how the process worked
When the solution does not work simply gude the children through the process again
Is it Fair? allow children to find their own voice
Follow up
Conflict Resolution Activities
Peer Mediators

Children as young as four years old can guide their classroom peers through the process of conflict resolution.
It is helpful to have a conflict resolution center or table set up when using peer mediators because the environmental cues keep the children on track.
When a simple conflict comes up between two children and you are too busy to facilitate, ask the children involved if they would like a peer mediator to help.
If the children still cant resolve the conflict, make an appointment with them to help as soon as you have a moment. If they do resolve the conflict congratulate the three children for their productive work.
Support Conflict Resolution in Classroom Culture

Make the use of conflict resolution one of the foundations of your classroom culture.
Provide visual and kinesthetic cues that emphasize the classroom value set up small area clearly dedicated to that purpose
Include, small table with two chairs, beanbag chairs, wall might have photos or drawings of children talking out their differences
Pictures and words to help guide the process
Defining a conflict requires seeing two sides to the story
It's often up to adults to look at the clues and make thier best guess as to what the conflict is really about
Clear "want statement" turn it into a neutral problem statement "Two kids both want..."
Good problem statements avoid implying fault or blame.
Help Define the Conflict
Demonstrate Conflict-Resolution Attitudes

Conflicts can be resolved:
Nobody is all wrong or all right;
The goal is to figure out whats going to happen next instead of assigning responsibility for what already happened
Conflict is only solved when the solution works for everyone.
Solution Wheel

A solution wheel is a quick reminder of some generic solutions to conflict
Some ideas to use: share, trade, get another one, wait for a turn, play something else, fix what broke, say "I' m sorry"

Magnetic Write-on Wipe-off Die
Assertion and Modeling Assertive Language
Assertion balances needs of self with needs of others. When children use assertion, they state their own preferences and limits without verbal name-calling or physical aggression.
Expresses wants and needs. Open to hearing what the other party to the conflict feels and wants. "But I want to use it too."
Help children learn assertion to set boundaries now-teach all children to use assertive language to state their needs, assert their rights, and set boundaries for others. ( help children learn assertive responses.)

When you give children assertive language you might have to tailor your response depending on how passive the child is or how fluent the child is in English. For example:
You might say, "Did you like it when Kianna took the doll?" If John says no, say, "Go tell Kianna, 'Stop. I don't like it when you grab."
Rehearse "strong voice", model and practice firm yet respectful tone of voice and assertive body language.
Provide own physical support if the child needs it. "Kianna, John has something to tell you." Then say to John, "Tell her 'I was still using the doll. Give it back, please."
Break down assertive language into baby steps. First "stop" or "no" Second "I don't like that." Third "I don't like it when you (behavior)." Fourth behavior, suggestion for change and action
Children's ability to express their needs clearly and respectfully and to listen to others when they are talking about their own needs. We might call this assertive language
Assertion is somewhere in the middle of a continuum that runs from passivity on one end to aggression on the other. Where children are on the spectrum may depend in large part on the kind of communication that is valued, modeled, and taught at home.


Children who use a passive approach can be exploited or bullied by children who are on the more aggressive end of the continuum. More passive children may allow more aggressive children to get their own may and might be reluctant to express opinions or preferences.
Just gives up and retreats. "That's okay. You can have it."


On the other end of the spectrum, children who use an aggressive approach frequently get into physical confrontations with others. Some teachers might describe them as all-about-me or selfish and self-centered people.
Might threaten, bribe, or use physical means to get what they want. "If you don't give it to me, I won't be your friend." Or "Gimme it."

Model Assertive Language
One of the most powerful tools you have to teach assertive language and behavior is to model it yourself in your daily interactions with children.


When a child ... talks while you are trying to read a story

Instead of ....saying, "That's rude to talk while I'm reading"

Try saying... "When you talk I have trouble reading. I wish you could be more quiet."
Side by Side Science
test things out
stimulating the senses
create a garden
Outdoor Playmates
car wash
construction site
relay races
Artful Collaborations
table paint
make a mural
buddy tracings
Acting Things Out
prop up play
start a business
dramatize stories

Toys to Share
musical instruments
puppets, dolls stuffed animals
children's books
dress up clothes

Entering Play
Play Sequences

Children that play together often establish informal rules that we call "Play Sequences". It will take time to instruct a new child into established groups. Sit with them and teach them how to play among the others until they pick up how to interact with the group.

Teacher Invented

To help the new children play better together you can use "Teacher Invented" play themes. Examples are Post office, Doctors office, feeding the baby, shopping, and cooking. Keep using these play themes for as long as you need to. Until the group is working well together.
There might be times when the children need to graciously reject others teach them to use words that suggest they might want to play later such as "Not now, maybe later" or "No Thanks." You also want to teach them to exit simply by saying "bye" or "I'm done" then walk away.

Teach them to join without changing the play theme, you want to show them how to join ongoing play by observing what the other children are doing then joining in to the play themselves with the same theme.

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