Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm all about cooperative learning!

I love cooperative learning! I was fortunate in college to have a professor {for 2 semesters} who was also a Kagan trainer. {they have amazing resources - go check them out!} I truly had the best of both worlds - not only was I introduced to the basic concepts of coop. learning, but it was also modeled to me at every class meeting. We constantly did coop. structures for all of our learning {and I saw the proof of how powerful it can be}. Of course we are filled with all of this wonderful knowledge in school, but when we get into our own classroom we can't always reproduce what we were taught. However, I have tried to hold onto my coop. learning strategies and implement them whenever possible.

I find that science lends itself so well to coop. learning. I created these cards to assign jobs to each group (table) of students. I assign students a job for each experiment and then rotate roles. Most of my students sit in groups of 4, but a few have 5. For the groups of 5 I have 2 material handlers. I can't tell you how this has saved me from discipline problems during science. The students don't fight over who gets to do what - or not getting a turn. It also prevents from having 10 students coming up to me at once (since only directors may come up to me with questions/problems). This also allows me to move around the room to have discussions with the children. It also allows students to problem solve within their group!!
Tips:
  • Print a set of cards for each group (table) on different colored cardstock and laminate.
  • Cut the cards out and then use the bottom portion to remind the groups of the expectations for each job.
  • I keep the job cards/job explanation card in a plastic baggie that gets passed out with the experiment materials. (I prepare experiments by placing everything in tubs for each group)
  • I have each student within a group numbered 1-5. This makes it easier to assign job roles each time. I just assign each job a number...this make it so easy to switch jobs each time.
  • I have used these cards with both 3rd and 1st graders. It was a breeze with 3rd graders...however 1st graders need modeling to u

I hope that you enjoy these and they are helpful in your classroom! On a side note, I'm realizing that as the start of the year gets closer it is getting harder and harder for me to get on and blog (I have so much to do and not enough time!)

*Somehow when I converted to a pdf it changed moved the picture for investigator - I'll have to fix it another time - sorry!


Science Cooperative Jobs

2 comments:

  1. What a great idea to have the cards ready to go so there is no debate on who does what job! I love Kagen structures and try to use them as often as possible! One of my favorite structures is Quiz, Quiz, Trade! It is perfect to review for a test, or if you want them to just have a lot of practice with something.

    Amy
    Spotted in Second Grade

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  2. I love your ideas and how enthused you are about bringing cooperative learning into your classroom!!! I bet the kids adore you!

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