“Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.”- Virginia Burden
At HFP, we invite children to work together. Children team up to try a range of practical, fun and hands-on tasks.These everyday classroom activities provide opportunities to cooperate, negotiate ideas, take turns, and make meaningful contributions to the group. Cooperative learning is demanding since it requires working closely with others, and it is deeply rewarding for the same reason. Children learn the value of shared investment and shared accomplishments — whether that is preparing snack, building a giant floor puzzle or filling an enormous bucket with sand and water. Working together is interesting, satisfying and fun.
Peeling mandarin oranges. (above) Gathering frozen berries to the blend for smoothies. (below)
Mixing ingredients to bake pumpkin muffins.
Large floor puzzles beckon teamwork. Children can simultaneously search for matches . When one child finds a match, snapping two connecting pieces together, the picture grows clearer for everyone. One child’s success contributes to the group’s success. We celebrate our joint accomplishment. We may validate our work with “We did it!” or high-fives to reinforce connections and collective pride.
Children gather water from the rain barrel several yards away from the sand box. They take multiple trips to fill and refill containers. Children transport and dump water into the huge bucket of sand to add each scoop. This rich sensory play satisfies. Each child is deeply invested. I’m impressed with how little support the group needs and how well they share space. It’s like a fluid, well-choreographed dance. This cooperative effort is clearly enriching for everyone involved–so much so that these children head straight to the sandbox on the following school day and begin transporting water. The project continues.