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  • Cooperative Learning

    Posted by Alison Garcia on March 23, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    I want to better learn how to teach students to work together. Often they are placed in pairs or groups and teachers assume that means they will work together. Sometimes they are given “partner time” or “group time” and teachers assume that will work too. Instead, we have to teach students how to talk, listen, provide help, etc.

    Cynthia Doyle replied 3 years ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Garret schneider

    March 26, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Have you seen the 100 numbers task?

    I use it at the beginning of the year, follow it to a T, and then reflect with the kids about what makes group work so great and what it looks like. Then I post pictures of them working and their contract for it on the wall. That’s our pillar.

    I also just wrote a grant for a classroom set of mobile whiteboards (only about $200?). Have you seen the research for “vertical non-permanent surfaces”? That also really helps with the collaboration.

    I found that giving students jobs SUCKS, and instead I create small (3 person groups) and encourage all to participate (some with rules on HOW to participate, like the VNPS).

    I think having tasks in the beginning and throughout the year which have NOTHING to do with math and EVERYTHING to do with teamwork helps.

    Also, doing daily random seating helps with that. I know that there are cards circulating around for that, but then the kids trade them. So I use the app “Team Shake” to help with that.

    Good luck!

  • Cynthia Doyle

    March 26, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I love the NPVS (whiteboards). In the first week of the semester we have discussions about what we like to see in a group and what we don’t like to see in a group. I write down the student’s suggestions (in their own words when possible) and post the charts in the classroom. These become our classroom norms. [I think this could be done at any point in the semester.]

    When I make whiteboard groups I do it randomly. I’ve used DoJo for this because it allows me to enter attendance so all the groups are actually filled. I like groups of 3 for high school so no one can just sit back and watch. And I constantly circulate and remind students of positive phrase to use by praising all the good stuff I hear or by making language correction. For the first week or so, the math tasks are very achievable and I focus on the group skills. One other nice thing about DoJo is that you can tell it not to put certain students together and that can help with the comfort level for some students. (Of course, I would really rather not have to do that but sometimes it makes for a much happier classroom.)

    All that being said, there are always a few who don’t seem to be able to follow the rules about playing nicely and constant reminders are necessary. 🙁