Toolkit of collaborative activities

Collaborative Toolkit

The IB believes that it is important for students to learn in a collaborative way and for teachers to plan collaboratively (Standard C1). However, in my experience many schools find providing evidence of collaboration challenging when it comes to authorization or the five year evaluation.

This toolkit provides you with a diverse range of collaborative activities that you can use both in the classroom with students and in workshops with staff. Each page of this toolkit contains an individual strategy or protocol. Mix and match as you prepare lessons for students and professional learning for staff,

WHY is collaboration essential?

Collaboration is at the heart of the IB constructivist learning philosophy which holds that knowledge and meaning making is a social process. It is something which happens with others and over time. You may like to refer to A note on constructivism for a miore detailed explanation on constructivism.

Collaborative learning is at the heart of developing and sustaining a professional learning community. The leadership toolkit provides facilitated activities that encourage knowledge sharing amongst all stakeholders (students, staff, governors) in your school community.


    A paragraph, sentence, phrase, word

    Exploring text, focused reading (of research), prioritization


    Strategies on how to start lessons and workshops

    Appreciative Inquiry

    Action research tool, sharing practice

    Artifact - Storytelling

    Reflection, collaborative learning, multiple perspectives


    Generating ideas and solutions


    Promoting ideas, marketing

    Case Study

    Learning from practice, analyzing situations, problem solving, decision making

    Compass points

    Evaluation, feedback, plenary, introduce a discussion

    Cover Story

    Communicate a message, clarify thinking, prioritization, visual impact

    Diamond 9

    Prioritization, evaluation, making decisions, designing documents

    Elevator Pitch

    Articulating a message, prioritization, persuasive argument

    Essential Agreement

    Define culture, encourage discussion, reach consensus


    A protocol for providing feedback to students and staff.

    Gallery Walk 

    A discussion tools that helps you share knowledge and generate new ideas.

    Graffiti boards 

    Graffiti boards help to generate and share ideas collaboratively.


    Summarize an argument, capture an idea, marketing key message

    Heart of the Matter

    Prioritization, sharing and aligning opinions and understandings

    Jigsaw a document or book

    Develop comparative thinking, develop synthesis skills,review multiple parts of an issue and then put together to form a bigger picture, knowledge sharing


    Knowledge sharing, developing comparative thinking

    Learning Journal

    Reflective tool, capture learning, identify strengths and areas for development

    Market Place

    Collate evidence brainstorm ideas, knowledge sharing

    Photo Montage

    Collecting evidence, develop collaborative planning, investigate a subject

    Place Mat

    Independent thinking, consensus building

    Plus, minus, interesting

    Analyzing and evaluating


    Reflection,capturing learning, making commitments

    Quotes that speak to me

    Discussion, aligning group understanding

    See, Hear, Feel

    Collecting evidence, collaborative discussion and learning

    See, Think, Wonder

    Raise curiosity, focused activity, critical and metaphoric thinking

    Think Piece

    Individual and group reflection, research, knowledge sharing

    Think Win-Win

    A discussion, debating and negotuating tool for developing collaborative social skills.

    Visual Metaphor

    Internalize learning and understanding - individually and as a group

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