Monday, September 20, 2010

 

Cooperative Learning Strategies

I love going into classrooms and seeing teachers excited about what they are doing that is working well! Last week I visited a 6th grade math and science teacher who is thrilled with the way her new cooperative learning strategies are working in her classroom. She learned these strategies at AMSTI training this summer from a math specialist who refuses to take credit for the ideas. :-) However, they both gave me permission to share, so here goes...

Rules for Super Teams
She groups students randomly and changes the groups regularly. Students are seated in groups of four, and each student has a role in the group. Cards outlining the duties of each role and "sound bites" that might be overheard from someone performing that role properly are at each desk.

Roles for Team Members

Coach/Leader

Sound Bites
Gopher
Sound Bites
Reporter
Sound Bites
Recorder/Checker
Sound Bites
The teacher encourages teamwork by giving points for working together, completing homework, improving test scores, etc. She has a collection of green and red craft sticks: green sticks are for positive behaviors that are rewarded with points, and red sticks subtract points for inappropriate behavior and work ethic. Each team turns in a record of points earned at the end of each class period, and the team with the most points is rewarded with a treat at regular intervals. The students are working together to help each other learn, and their teacher is very happy with the results!

So, how is cooperative learning working in your classroom? What strategies are working well for you? What challenges do you face? Let's start a conversation and learn from each other!

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