Children can not only talk to one another they can talk to themselves, and that creates noise. This makes skilled guidance to group-learning important. So, here are the rules: First is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. * All members will keep an open mind. * Each member has equal value. * Each member is to be taken seriously. * Each member must take the other members seriously. * Each member’s opinion is valid. * Individual members are safe from personal attack. Scorn, ridicule, personal judgments, and destructive criticism are forbidden. * Only ideas can be attacked, not people. Even then politeness rules: do not interrupt—let the other member finish speaking. * There are no bad ideas, just ideas. * All members will do their best to keep the focus on the ideas, and not on side issues. * All members will do their best to reach a consensus. * Each member will take turns as the group leader. * Group leaders will be treated with extra respect. * Final Rule: see the Golden Rule. 

Working collaboratively is an art not a science. The overused and even scorned word synergy is a perfect description of what teamwork is all about. It comes from a Greek word which means working together spontaneously. 

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Excerpted from my book Hybrid Learning.

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