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The Workshop Model and Collaborative Teaching and Learning

The Workshop Model and Collaborative Teaching and Learning

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson you will learn the components of the workshop model.

In this lesson, you will learn how to apply this framework to your daily instruction.

In this lesson, you will learn how the Workshop Model supports PBL, differentiation and blended learning.

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Welcome. I'm Tricia Fyfe. And today I'm going to be exploring a lesson with you titled, "the Workshop Model and Collaborative Teaching and learning."

As we explore this topic, we will work towards several learning objectives. Together we will answer the questions, what is the workshop model? And how can we apply the workshop model to our own teaching?

So let's start with a definition of the workshop model. The workshop model is designed to access the range of ways that children learn and acquire knowledge. And this model moves from the whole group, to the small group, and then back to the whole group learning. The teacher is responsible for grouping based on needs. And in that workshop model, the teacher can move between small group, direct instruction, and walking around to make sure that groups are working independently and collaboratively together. There's rotation within the classroom during this model.

Let me give you a general overview of the workshop model and what the components are. The whole group generally starts with a mini lesson, where the teacher leads a mini lesson and the skills are modeled for the students. The class practices the skill together, which is facilitated. The teacher then puts students into groups that were formed intentionally, based on student's needs. This is a key factor to the success of the groups. Teachers must observe and assess students and their abilities, and then put them into groups with purpose.

During this small group instruction stage, the teacher works with small groups using guided instruction, while at the same time, all of the groups are working collaboratively and independently on an assigned project or assignment. They are fully engaged in this assignment with their groups.

When students and teachers reconvene, the whole group comes together to share results. The class engages in a debrief or classroom discussion on what they have learned.

Let's look at an example from New York City Schools. In New York City Schools, their warm-up is about five minutes, and the teacher gives a brief assignment posted. The work is independent during this time.

Then the students move to a mini-lesson. And again, this is still whole group instruction, which is 10 to 15 minutes long. The whole class takes part in a direct instruction mini lesson by the teacher. Examples of this might be shared reading, a read and think, key concept instruction, or demonstration of writing strategies and hands-on activities.

The groups then get into small groups established by the teacher, where they work independently with peers or in small groups for about 30 to 40 minutes. This time is used for collaborative and independent work. And the teacher circulates, doing check-ins with each of the groups, or maybe small group instruction on a particular concept or topic, if needed, with one group.

When students move back to the whole group, they do share session for about five minutes, where students show examples of what they have learned and they recap their learning together. It's here that the teacher gives homework, if needed, and checks for understanding of those objectives and learning goals.

Collaborative learning and the workshop model go hand in hand. The teacher gives students differentiated instruction in small groups, based on their learning needs. Students spend their time engaging, problem solving, and learning in a project-based way.

When they're in their small groups, students help each other, and they're trained to do this. Some teachers used "ask two, then me," which is where they have students ask two other students before coming to the teacher for help. This strategy builds communication and collaboration within the classroom.

Because this model supports problem-based learning and blended learning models, especially the rotation model, it is being used in middle and high school schools much more frequently today.

So let's review all that we learned today in this video lesson. We covered the following questions, what is the workshop model? And how can we apply the workshop model to our teaching?

I worked you through the workshop model and what that entails. And what that is, as a reminder, is where teachers use whole group, and then small group, and back to whole group instruction, with a specific purpose for each of those three parts. We looked at an example from New York City Schools, and walked through what each of these stages looks like in those schools.

Now that you're more familiar with the workshop model and how essential it is to the classroom setting, let's apply these ideas by reflecting. What are the benefits to using the workshop model in diverse classrooms? What might the challenges be to using this model?

Thanks for joining me today as we discuss the lesson, "The Workshop Model and Collaborative Teaching and Learning." I hope you found value in this video lesson and are able to apply these ideas and resources to your own teaching.

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on “The Workshop Model and Collaborative Teaching and Learning”


(00:00- 00:22) Introduction/Objectives

(00:23- 00:56) What is The Workshop Model?

(00:57- 01:56) Components of The Workshop Model

(01:57- 03:18) Example of The Workshop Model in NY City Schools

(03:19- 04:02) The Workshop Model and Collaborative Learning

(04:03- 04:36) Recap

(04:37- 05:21) Reflection  

Additional Resources

 NYC Department of Education: The Workshop Model

This is a great planning tool for teachers who are interested in implementing the workshop model in their classroom.

Boston Public Schools: Workshop Model Lesson Plan

This is a great planning document for teachers incorporating collaborative teaching and learning practices into their lessons.