Go to: ETAP 623 Spring 2020 (Zhang) | Chelsea's Mini-Course

About Me 12324.png

About Me

Hi everyone!! Welcome to the page about me!!

I am a first year high school mathematics teacher in New York. I teach Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Financial Algebra to a variety of fun, unique learners! I am very excited to create this mini-course because not only am I implementing something new to you, but I will be able to learn, for myself, how to make my classroom more collaborative in creative ways.

One of the reasons why I am taking this course is to find ways to implement technology more whether it's in the classroom or it's while we are at home. Technology has become a huge part of today's society & it's important to me that we find ways to incorporate more technology in education.

While I'm not teaching, I enjoy laying around on the couch watching shows, such as Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU, or Blacklist, and I love cooking a variety of different meals in my apartment!

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 1.38.12 PM.png

My Topic and Purpose


The purpose of this mini-course is to explore the ideas of collaborative learning in a math classroom. Mathematics has always been a tough subject for a variety of different learners and I believe it would be beneficial to find unique ways to implement mathematical content. The goal is to create effective lessons that are not only educational, but enjoyable for the students. Topics that will be covered will include defining what collaborative learning means, how flexible collaborative learning can be used in a math classroom, and how teachers can use this information to create effective unit plans.

Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to define collaborative learning and understand how it is implemented in a classroom.

Learners will be able to look at the positives and negatives to using collaborative activities in your math class.

Learners will be able to strategize on how different collaborative groups can be created based on the learners & environment you have.

Learners will be able to understand how to create a lesson plan with collaborative learning.

Needs Assessment

Problem: In high school, having students' interest and motivation in your classroom is a key component for students to succeed in your course. Specifically, in the math classes I teacher, it's important that the students grasp the material, but also enjoy how they are learning the content. For some schools, there is a reputation of most teachers creating an environment where it is focused on a teacher-led discussion. A teacher implements the lesson and students take notes. Now, this is not the case for every classroom, but many classrooms do follow this strategy. This doesn't allow for student-led discussions or student engagement. When students work with each other, it allows them to strengthen their knowledge and use higher order thinking skills. It is said "Collaborative learning has been shown to not only develop higher-level thinking skills in students, but boost their confidence and self-esteem as well (Gates, pg. 1)." Due to this, I have decided to create this mini-course to help overcome those problems by finding a more effective, collaborative ideas to make learning more enjoyable. My strategies and ideas can be used in any classroom, but this course will focus, specifically, on math courses.

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 1.40.52 PM.png

What is To Be Learned: Educators will be informed of different ways collaborative learning can be used in the classroom. This will include discussing the type and the number of learners you have in your classroom.

The Learners: Learners include anyone who teaches adolescent education. Although I will be focusing specifically on ideas for a math class, this can relate to any other subject. Learners will have the prior knowledge of what collaboration means. Learners will have the prior knowledge of how to solve an equation or word problem. Learners will be given detailed instructions on how to implement different collaborative groups or activities that will be effective for their classroom.

Instructional Context: This course can be access on the KNILT website so this will be fully online. Learners need access to a computer and the internet to participate.

Goals: Educators can learn new ways to make their lessons more interesting and effective for their students. Rather than having a teacher-led instruction, this can help students discover more on their own by participating with their peers.

Performance-Based Objectives

After completing this course, learners will have a better grasp of what collaborative learning looks like in a classroom and how they can implement it. This course is designed to help future or current teachers who are finding more creative ways for students to interact with one another and have students discover their own learning.

  • Learners will be able to:
    1. Define Collaborative Learning
    2. Analyze how collaborative learning can benefit students.
    3. Analyze how to use collaborative learning in math lessons based on the type of students you have.
    4. Develop their own collaborative activities for their math classes.

Task Analysis

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 1.43.14 PM.png

Unit 1:

The Importance Of Understanding Collaborative Learning

Learners will begin by taking a pre-assessment on Google Forms focusing on Collaborative Learning. This will see how much they know about collaborative learning before learning about it. After, I will provide a video and an article defining what collaborative learning is. Lastly, I will have the learners participate in a group discussion where they will analyze what they've learned and list the positives or negatives of collaborative learning. Then each learner will read another peer's and comment.

Unit 2:

What Type of Collaborative Strategies & Activities You Use in the Classroom

Learners will read a few articles and watch a video on what types of activities and strategies you can use in your classroom. This unit will focus more, specifically, on math classes. After, each learner will share a class they teach and picture what type of strategy/activity they could use for a math lesson. Lastly, they will comment on another peer's post.

Unit 3:

How You Can Make a Lesson on Collaborative Learning

Learners will watch a video, created by me, from I will be demonstrating a lesson plan that I have created using a collaborative strategy/activity I have learned from the first two units. I will talk about the type of students I have in my class and why I decided to do certain tactics. After, each learner will create their own lesson plan using the lesson plan template I have provided. They will share what type of class they have and why they chose their strategies. Learners will share their lesson plans and they will give feedback to one another using the sheet I will provide.

Curriculum Map

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 4.27.51 PM.png

References and Resources From Mini-Course

Edwards, Maddi. "Creating a Better Future Through Collaborative Learning",

Rupendra, Joshi. "Cooperative Learning: Teamwork that works" The Himalayan Times,

Slavin, Robert E. "Making Cooperative Learning Powerful" ASCD,

Swan, Malcolm. "Collaborative Learning in Mathematics" Twitter Math Camp,


Youtube. 2020. Teachings In Education. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 May 2020].