Review of Cooperative Learning

What Will We See in This Lesson?

In this lesson, we are going to review the main components of the first four units. This lesson is going to allow you to reflect on what you have learned and your new understandings of cooperative learning. You will reflect on how your understanding has changed over time, and prepare yourself to create our own lesson and utilize this strategy in your classroom.

By the end of this lesson you should have an understanding of what we have learned in each of the units, and be prepared to use this knowledge to create our own mini lesson.

Please have the google doc open so you can easily access the information for review!

Link to Google Doc

Unit 1 Review

In the first unit you received a brief instruction to cooperative learning, and began determining the importance of cooperative learning. Additionally, you developed an understanding regarding the differences between cooperative learning and group work.

Main points of Lesson 1:

  • Learned the basic components of cooperative learning (what it is and what is necessary for students to be successful with cooperative learning_
  • Discussed our current thoughts on cooperative learning and what we believe it looks like in a K-12 classroom
  • Learned more regarding what the teachers role is during cooperative learning
  • Began thinking about what is required for cooperative learning

Main points of Lesson 2:

  • Discussed the important aspects for cooperative learning to be successful
  • Overview of what the teacher should do before the lesson
  • Overview of what the cooperative learning environment should look like
  • Description of what the students should be doing in their groups

What did you learn in Lesson 2?

  • Before introducing cooperative learning, students need to learn how to work together cooperatively
  • Discussion of cooperative learning games to play with your students to get them prepared for cooperative learning
  • Teach students what cooperative learning means; what it means to work together and equally contribute to the lesson
  • Traditional rows may not be the easiest way to set up a classroom for cooperative learning
  • Placing students desks in groups or having them seat at numbered tables helps to ease into cooperative learning
  • Provide students with bins in the center of their group table and fill it with what students need for the lesson
  • Provide students with jobs so they can determine ways to divide up the work and help the group to run smoothly

Main points of Lesson 3:

  • There is a distinction between cooperative learning and group work
  • Learned how to identify differences between the two by reading two examples

What are the some differences between cooperative learning and group work?

  • Cooperative learning involves students being held accountable for their work
  • The final product must demonstrate the work of all group members
  • Students have roles within their groups
  • Students may become expert on topics and teach it to their students
  • The students are engaged in their learning while the teacher is supporting students
  • Students are the ones who are encouraging each other to dig deeper into the learning
  • Students take an active role in their learning

Take a moment to review the notes you wrote down and the questions you answered in the google doc.

Unit 2 Review

In unit 2, you observed classrooms where cooperative learning was utilized and began learning about different cooperative learning strategies. We went back to specific student roles and thought about how giving students roles within their groups helps to enhance the cooperative learning strategies we learned about. This unit allowed you to get a visual of what cooperative learning looks like and how to utilize specific strategies effectively.

Main points of Lesson 1:

  • Observed different examples of cooperative learning by watching videos
  • Watched an overview of cooperative learning and important components of cooperative learning
  • Utilized the videos to see what cooperative learning looks like in terms of how the classroom is set up and how students are interacting
  • Recognized characteristics that were similar throughout out the groups and noticed what was going on in each activity

Please refer back to the google doc and see what notes you took on the videos in terms of what was occurring

Main points of Lesson 2

  • Received an overview of seven cooperative learning strategies, what they are and why they are useful:
  • Think-Pair-Share: students are asked a question, think about the answer to themselves for a moment, share with someone sitting next to them, then share with the whole class, engaging a whole class discussion
  • Jigsaw: students are placed into home groups and expert groups. Students are each assigned a different topic in their home groups which are all related to a larger topic. Students work with others in their expert groups and learn about their topic, return back to their home groups and teach them about their topic. Together they come up with a presentation on what their group learned.
  • Numbered Heads Together: students are working in groups and everyone in the group is given a number. Teacher asks the students a question and they take time to answer the question in their groups. After a few moments, the teacher calls out a number and each student who is assigned that number and they share what their group talked about. This leads to whole class discussion and deeper conversations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Carousel: 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.

Main points of Lesson 3:

  • Referred back to student jobs and how they are used in the cooperative learning activities
  • Thought about how these jobs are useful and helpful for successful integration of cooperative learning
  • The jobs we learned about were:
  • Team Leader: the student who is the task master/team leader is in charged of keeping their group members on task. When the students are getting off topic, this student is the one who will help to refocus the students, remind them of their goals, and remind them of the time remaining in the lesson
  • Checker: simply, the checker's job in the group is to make sure that everyone agrees on an answer within the group. This student gets the group in agreement, and allows further discussion if students aren't in agreement.
  • Recorder: this student is responsible for writing down the answers that the students previously agreed upon in their groups
  • Editor: this student's role goes hand in hand with the recorder. Since this work is going to be displayed and shared with the class, the editor's job is to make sure the grammatical errors are corrected and that the final product looks neat.
  • Gatekeeper: this student's job is very important for cooperative learning to be successful. They are responsible for keeping the peace among group members, making sure everyone is getting along, making sure everyone is participating, and making sure everyone has a turn to share. If they notice one student is hogging the conversation, they will guide the conversation to another student or in another direction. If a student is not participating, they will call on them to add their input.
  • Praiser: this student's job is to offer words of encouragement to others to help them to continue sharing their ideas and working hard in the group. This student is responsible for making sure students feel heard and that their words are appreciated. They will offer encouragement to individuals, while also encouraging the group to expand further on their ideas.

Unit 3 Review

In this unit, we focused on the advantages and disadvantages of cooperative learning. We discussed in detail the pros & cons and learned about things that could go wrong. We created deeper knowledge on what the potential downfalls are and how to avoid them, as well as what to do if they happen in our classroom while teaching.

Main points of Lesson 1:

  • Overview of the pros & cons of cooperative learning
  • Began thinking about why they are positive/negative aspects to cooperative learning
  • Some pros include:
  • Promotes Critical Thinking
  • Students are actively involved in their learning
  • Deep Learning occurs
  • Learning communities are developed
  • Students learn appropriate problem solving techniques
  • Students gain from each others efforts
  • Some negatives include:
  • The group isn't working well together
  • The work isn't being equally shared by the students
  • The classroom is out of control
  • All the material doesn't get covered
  • There isn't enough time

Main points of Lesson 2

  • Discussed situations where the bumps are likely to occur
  • Learned what to do to prevent the bumps from happening
  • Learned how to intervene when the lesson is going downhill and problems are occurring

What were some details?

  • If the group isn't working well together the students may be unfamiliar with cooperative learning and how to work together cooperatively. Students may not have received jobs, so students may be fighting. It may be that students did not receive instruction on how to work cooperatively, so they are arguing rather than fighting
  • If students are not pulling their weight it may be because they are unaware of their task or unaware about what cooperative learning is. The might think it is simply group work and there is not reason for them to support their group members; rather than can get by just by copying what they are writing
  • If the classroom is out of control it may be because students chose their own groups and they are too busy discussing their plans or getting off topic. Additionally, they may be unaware of what is expected of them and how to work together. The directions may have been unclear, causing confusion among the group members
  • If the material isn't getting covered it is probably again because they did not reason training prior to instruction, so there is a lot of time where students are off topic. The teacher may not have planned out the lesson to its fullest extent, leaving parts out and necessitating reteaching
  • If there isn't enough time it is likely, once again, because the lesson isn't fully planned out and the students are unaware of what they should be doing. Students may be off topic and not deeply learning, so the teacher has to take extra time to reteach. If the teacher isn't observing what the groups are doing, they may be getting off task, meaning the lesson is going to take longer.
  • You can avoid many of the bumps by being prepared in your lessons
  • Being prepared means that you have planned out the lesson and are providing students with all the materials they need
  • Additionally, you prepared your students on how to work together and provide them with the knowledge of what it means to work cooperatively
  • Make students aware of the end goal and what is expected of them throughout the lesson
  • Circulate around the classroom and use this as teaching time
  • If students are off task, redirect their attention and refocus them on the lesson
  • If students are lost or confused, make yourself available to support their learning so they can be successful

Unit 4 Review

Unit 4 was the first unit when you were asked to put your knowledge to the test. We will review what was done in this lesson, but please take some time to gloss over the google doc and see what changes you made to instruction.

Main points of Lesson 1

  • Provided you with an example of a lesson that utilized cooperative learning but had a lot of problems with the lesson
  • You critiqued the lesson; thinking about what Mr. Roberts did wrong
  • You stated reasons why the lesson was unsuccessful
  • You came up with what you would change to improve the lesson

Main points of Lesson 2:

  • Provided you with a lesson that did not use cooperative learning
  • You once again critiqued the lesson, thinking of things you would change
  • You picked a cooperative learning strategy that would have been useful in this lesson
  • You proved why this was a beneficial cooperative learning strategy

Before Moving On...

This lesson served as a review to get you ready to move on to the final piece of this mini course. Now that you have reviewed all what we went over in Units 1-4, and looked over the notes you took in your google doc, you are going to create your own mini lesson using cooperative learning.

Before moving on, please complete this short Exit Ticket:

Exit Ticket

Return to Unit Homepage or Move on to Lesson 2: My Mini Lesson with Cooperative Learning

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