Sunday, April 26, 2020

Cooperative Learning Checklist

Cooperative learning can be a powerful tool for energizing a classroom, motivating students, and raising achievement. However, any teacher who’s used cooperative learning knows that it's not always easy to get kids to work together and stay on task. Sometimes it may even seem like your students would rather work alone than work with someone else!

Luckily, when I first began using cooperative learning, I was working with a terrific team of teachers who enjoyed sharing ideas and supporting each other. We had all been trained in the structural approach to cooperative learning developed by Dr. Spencer Kagan so we were using similar methods. If things weren’t going well, we could talk with each other about what we were experiencing, and often another teacher could point out exactly where things were breaking down.

As it turned out, we discovered that some key pieces had to be in place in order for cooperative learning lessons to go smoothly, and if something was out of whack in one area, it often adversely affected another part of the activity.


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