As the school year comes to an end our students have had the opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with one another in the classroom as well as with their extra-curricular activities. Let’s reinforce these important skills through out the summer months to ensure a healthy start to the upcoming school year.
Cooperation and collaboration go hand in hand. Collaboration is defined as working together towards a common goal. Cooperation is quite similar but it takes it a step further by also meaning to get along well with those you work with. Collaboration is what you do in working together while cooperation is how you do it. It’s not only important to learn to work together but also how we work together, how we get along with one another, and how we communicate and work together in order to achieve a common goal.
Cooperation is an essential life skill that children foster at a young age and learn how working with others can be both beneficial and rewarding. Some common ways children learn the importance of cooperation is through sports and club activities with their teammates and of course in school alongside their classmates. In order to win a game or to complete a project, it’s important for children to cooperate with one another by developing their teamwork and communication skills.
Cooperation Tip #1: Practice our listening skills. In order to work together, children need to practice their listening skills so they can understand each other and figure out what it is they need to do to achieve their goal together. Practice with your child taking turns talking in a conversation and emphasize how waiting for someone to finish speaking is to also be respectful.
Cooperation Tip #2: Help children work through their problems. Instead of fixing the problem for them, talk it through and troubleshoot what it is that may not have worked and what they could do instead to try again. Allow them the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas and possible solutions to resolve any conflict. Offer suggestions or walk through different steps with them to help children see where they can make some changes. By doing so, children can practice how they can talk through roadblocks or problems in group settings with others and work out a solution as a team.
Cooperation Tip #3: Give opportunities and acknowledge moments of cooperation. Invite children to assist with projects or small tasks around the house so they can practice how to cooperate. Encourage children with siblings or same-aged friends to play group activities together, such as games, puzzles, art projects, or sports. Encourage children to take-turns doing different tasks and taking on different roles and encourage children to acknowledge or recognize one another when someone does something well. This encourages teamwork and cooperation.
Reflection: Ask your children to reflect on the following questions:
- Have I been cooperating with my family and teacher today?
- How did I show that I was a team player in my classroom?
- Did I do things today that showed my friends I was cooperating with them? If so, what?
- How did others cooperate with me today?
- How can I better cooperate with my family?