Examples of Cooperative Learning Strategies


What Will I Learn in this Lesson?

As the previous lesson focused broadly on examples of cooperative learning strategies and provided a visual example of them, this lesson is going to dive further into these strategies and discuss a few other strategies. By the end of this lesson you should be able to name cooperative learning strategies that can be used in the classroom and describe their potential uses. Additionally, this lesson will allow you to apply what you have learned about cooperative learning strategies to describe situations where each would be useful. Please have the google doc opened so you can add to it as you go.

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Examples of Cooperative Learning Strategies & When to Use them

Before we get into the examples of cooperative learning strategies that we are going to watch a short video on YouTube which will go through, in details information about four Cooperative Learning Strategies: Think/Pair/Share, Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, and Tea Party Method. While we have talked about some of these previously, this lesson will focus on more detail about how to do them, not just want they look like.

Cooperative Learning Strategies

Name of Strategy How To Do It Why It Is Useful
Think-Pair-Share Also called turn & talk. Teacher poses a question to the group, and each student has a minute or two to think about the question. Then, they turn and discuss with someone sitting next to them, and then share with the whole class (Teed, McDarvis, Roseth, n.d.). This is a useful cooperative learning strategy because it engages all students in their learning and it can be done quickly during almost any lesson.
Jigsaw Students are placed into "home groups" and "expert groups" and are each assigned a different topic within the same general topic. Students work on researching their topics with others who have the same topic (their expert group) and then return back to their home group to teach them about their topic. Together, all the pieces come together to form a complete product (Reading Rockets, 2015). This is useful in that it helps to get students engage with one another and hold them accountable for their learning. It is truly cooperative in that every student needs to put work in so that all group members become informed on the topics. This can be used across content areas and with a variety of topics, allowing students to become the teachers.
Numbered Heads Together Students are placed into groups and given a number in their group. Students are asked a question and discuss it with their group members. When time is up, the teacher calls a number and all students with that number stand up and take turns sharing what they discussed in their groups. The students are able to build on and connect similar ideas among the groups and broaden the conversation. (Colorado, 2015). This strategy is useful because it allows students to discuss in small groups before going into a whole class discussion. Additionally, it makes it so all students have to contribute and listen to the conversation, so they have something to share if their number gets called. It helps to get each student engaged and involved in their learning.
Tea Party Students form two circles facing each other (one inner circle and one outer circle). The students are given a question and they are to discuss the the question with the student they are facing. The students on the outer circle moves in one direction, so they have a new partner to discuss with. Another question is asked, and more discussion is created with a new partner (Colorado, 2015). This strategy is useful because not only does it allow for all students to get a chance and share with another student, but additionally, it allows for students to work together to come up with a solution. If a student isn't talking, sharing, or discussing, then they are losing valuable learning time. It is important for the teacher to be circulating to ensure that engaging conversations are occurring, and prompting those who need extra support.
Round Robin Students are sitting with groups (3-4 students), and they teacher asks them a question or gives them a problem to solve. The questions or problems are deliberating chosen, in that there are multiple ways to solve the problem and multiple points for discussion. Students in their groups take turns answer and sharing their ideas with each other, working together to come up with an answer that they all agree on (Colorado, 2015). This strategy is important because it gives students the opportunity to work together to solve a goal or come to a joint understanding. It requires the participation of each student in the group, and ensures that students are sharing their ideas. During this activity, students work on taking turns, supporting one another, and sharing their ideas.
Write Around Students are placed in groups with 3-4 students and the teacher gives each group a topic or idea. Once again, it is important for the topic/idea to have multiple answers or understandings. Students take turns writing their response to the question or idea on a piece of paper, shared by the group. After a certain amount of time, the teacher tells the students to pass the paper to the next group member, who then takes the time to read over what the other group member wrote and add to it, explain it further, or clarify what was written. The process repeats throughout the group (Colorado, 2015). This strategy is useful in that it allows for all students to demonstrate their contribution and knowledge surrounding an area or a topic. It necessitates that students are paying attention to what their group members are writing, and helping one another by adding on or clarifying their ideas. This helps to ensure that each student is learning and contributing to the group's ideas to come to a complete understanding.
Carousel In this activity, students are broken into groups of 3-4 and the teacher places chart paper around the room with different questions on them, related to a certain topic. This lesson can be done before starting a new unit to activate prior knowledge, during the unit, or at the end of review. Each group starts at a different poster and is given a different color marker to write with. The marker travels with the groups around the rooms, and each group has 1-2 minutes to answer the question on the chart paper. They then rotate around the room to the next poster and repeat the process. You may want to try to get each group member to write their ideas down on the paper so that each student's ideas are evident on the paper. When every group has written on each piece of paper, the class comes together for a whole class discussion and shares what is written on the posters (Gray, 2016). This strategy is useful because it causes students to work together in their groups but also within the whole class. Students have to ensure they are reading what other students wrote and coming up with new ideas, rather than copying what is already there. It helps to hold all students accountable because they have to write their ideas down, and help their group members who are struggling to come up with something to write down.

If you would like to read more about these strategies and others, please click on the link below:

Additional Strategies

Apply Your New Knowledge!

Know that you have learned about several new strategies regarding cooperative learning, start thinking about how you would utilize these strategies in your content area or your classroom. In the google doc, please write up at least three lessons where you could utilize three different cooperative learning strategies we learned about. Include why you chose to utilize this strategy and briefly describe why it would be successful.

Before Moving On...

In this lesson, we learned more about different cooperative learning strategies and began thinking about how we can apply them to our content area or our classroom. The lesson focused on seven different strategies, and detailed what they contained and why each was useful in the classroom. Before moving on to lesson 3, please complete the Exit Ticket below. When you are ready, move on to Lesson 3.

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[A Fabiano]. (2015, February 12). Cooperative learning CL in the classroom strategy tube video. [Video File]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ZFjXmXYh0

Colorado, C. (2015). Cooperative learning strategies. Retrieved from: http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/cooperative-learning-strategies

Coffey, H. (2008). Cooperative learning. Retrieved from: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/4653.

Gray, Shelley. (2016, May 12). How to use the cooperative learning "carousel" strategy. Retrieved from: http://shelleygrayteaching.com/carousel/

Teed, R., McDaris, J., Roseth, C. (n.d.). Think-pair-share. Retrieved from: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/interactive/tpshare.html

Reading Rockets. (2015). Jigsaw. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/jigsaw