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Working Together

Collaborative Spaces

Different campuses in the Bond 2020 initiative have their own unique upgrades and builds. Most of the key components of the bond program included renovations and repairs to existing school buildings and construction of new facilities to accommodate the growing student population. One design that has been chosen by many of the new campuses is adding collaborative learning spaces so that students can increase their peer interaction.

These learning spaces are more than just a chance for students to work together. They can be physical spaces, such as classrooms designed for group work, or they can be virtual spaces, such as online forums or social media platforms. We took a recent site visit to Everette L. DeGolyer Elementary where we spoke with Principal Herschel Carter about the new spaces and what he’d plan to do with them.

“I would like us to post a prompt daily that has multiple answers and allow classes to come and engage with one another to come up with different answers,” Carter said. "The key feature of a collaborative space is that it allows students to work together towards a common goal, whether that goal is to complete a project, solve a problem, or learn a new concept."

One of the most significant benefits of collaborative spaces is that they help students develop important social and emotional skills. “We’re big on social and emotional learning. We want our kids to be seen, felt, heard and respected. I think that the environment creates the opportunity for students to build those relationships with the students.” They also develop empathy, as they learn to understand and appreciate the unique strengths and challenges of their peers.

When students work together in a collaborative space, they learn how to communicate effectively, listen to others, and respect different perspectives. As the world becomes more interconnected and complex, it is essential that students are equipped with the skills to work collaboratively with others, and collaborative spaces are a key component of achieving this goal.

Kaylon Bendaw