Thursday, July 31, 2014

Successful Cooperative Learning - Setting Expectations

The countdown has begun!  Only 11 days until the teachers report to school, and only 13 days until the students start.  Personally, I have one child that can't wait and one child that is dreading it.

I will be using the elements of MAX Teaching in my classroom.

Because we will be learning in a variety of ways, I was excited to find this chart on Pinterest.  I would love to give credit to the teacher who created this, but the link doesn't lead to more than a picture.  

I have the poster ready for a classroom lesson.  I think it is important for students to help set expectations, so we will spend one of our first days together discussing what each of these entail.  I may even draw from my experiences working with my early elementary teacher friends and do a "Looks Like/Sounds Like" activity.

For this activity, I will use the Four Components of Successful Cooperative Learning.
  1. Each student will INDIVIDUALLY write down what each model Looks Like and Sounds Like.
  2. Students will share their ideas in SMALL GROUPS - approximately four students per group.  Students will work to determine which ideas are most important, coming to a small group consensus.
  3. The teacher will record thoughts as each small group will share one idea during a WHOLE CLASS DISCUSSION until all ideas are exhausted.  

Since I will have six sections, I will take ideas from each hour to add to the poster before laminating it.  We will refer to the completed poster often throughout the first months of school as we move through the different stages of group work.  Procedure, consistency, and having a real problem to be solved are key to making cooperative groups successful.

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