Parenting tips: Effective ways to encourage and motivate children to work in groups
Group activities can be an effective approach for children to learn together. Check out the amazing benefits of working in groups for children and effective ways to encourage and motivate children to work together.
Collaboration and teamwork are crucial skills that children need to learn to succeed in the future. Working in groups not only improves their social skills but also enhances their ability to communicate, problem-solve, and develop leadership qualities. Socio-emotional growth of students happens maximum during the initial years of learning. Group work is a great method to expand the social arena of preschoolers. Group activities can be an effective approach for children to learn together. However, just grouping children does not guarantee that they will be able to plan, stay on task, and cooperate. Remember that your children will need help from parents and instructors to successfully complete group projects. (Also read: Importance of social-emotional learning in child's development )
Preeti Bandary, parenting expert and co-founder of Little Elly, shared with HT Lifestyle, the benefits of working in groups for children and effective ways to encourage and motivate children to work together.
Conducting group activities with children can help children work on developing the following skills:
- Idea exchange
- Working with others and different groups
- Creative thinking
Teamwork is a life skill that may be required outside the classroom as well. Children can learn to assign tasks, set deadlines, and communicate. Here are a few activities which will enhance students’ experiences towards group work and activities.
1. Make an environment that encourages participation
We are all aware that we should expect students to contribute to class discussions by sharing their opinions and ideas, even if they do not know the answer. We should establish some ground rules to help guarantee that everyone has a positive and safe experience. Respect others by speaking clearly enough for everyone to hear, listening to peers, and not interrupting others who are speaking.
Finally, utilise participation to respond to inquiries, seek assistance, or clarify information. Even the classroom Layout should be so arranged that it fosters group work and healthy communication within the classroom.
2. Make kids responsible for their grades
At the start of the task, assign youngsters two tasks: one for the finished output and one for the team effort. The task evaluation may include traditional measures such as group judgement to determine whether everyone contributed to the activity. Children can, for example, enjoy the colour-mixing game of combining the primary colours of red, blue, and green with child-safe colours to find the secondary colours of red, yellow, and orange. This is an excellent game for fostering group involvement, developing fine motor skills, and teaching children how to mix colours in the classroom or with their friends.
3. Outdoor nature game
It can sometimes be difficult to manage children outside. Once you challenge them to play games with others, the kids will be begging you to do more outdoor activities. While the bulk of these games require little preparation and few ingredients, a few require significant forethought.
Children can go to a nearby park with miniature bags made of chart paper and go about looking for twigs, leaves, seeds, flowers, and so on. Tell them to put them in the bags so they can make a collage with their friends or loved ones. This will both help children remember the names of the objects they have collected and be enjoyable for them.
4. Small group activities
Children will feel more accountable for their participation by dividing your class into smaller groups. They may also feel more at ease discussing complex concepts in a small group or one-on-one setting. Ensure to provide precise instructional materials to each group so that children can effectively learn from and with one another.
5. Inquiry-based learning methods
Children are very inquisitive at this stage. They have a list of questions for every concept being discussed. Students may ask important questions that explore further into the subject matter and eventually provide answers that exhibit engagement.
“ These strategies will make kids more adept towards working in groups. The skills learned from group work are an important part of personal and group development in children. During group activities, children have the chance to communicate with each other and work towards a common goal. By practising being an effective team member and team leader, children develop confidence in their own abilities. Learning how to work with others and communicating are important by-products of collective and collaborative learning,” concludes Preeti Bandary.