Integration Into The Classroom

Revision as of 00:37, 13 December 2016 by Mollybennett (talk | contribs) (Before Moving On...)

What Will I Learn in This Lesson?

In the final lesson of this unit, you will explore further roles of students during cooperative learning and how to keep all students engaged. While reading about student roles, begin to think about what roles students would have specific to the seven strategies we learned about in lesson 2. In learning about student roles, you will be asked to think about how these relate to the strategies that we learned about. Think about how the student roles help to successful integration of cooperative learning. Please have the google doc open in a new tab, so that you can easily add new information to the google doc.

Click here to open the google doc

How Can I Keep Students Motivated and Engaged?

As previously mentioned, in order to keep students engaged in their learning and learning effectively in their groups, it would be useful for students to have jobs within their groups. In this section, we are going to talk about some examples of student's jobs during cooperative learning, and relate these jobs to the seven strategies we discussed in the the last lesson. Some cooperative learning strategies are more informal, and may not require as much direction in terms of student roles. However, when students are working in groups of 3-4 children, it might be necessary for them to pick or to be assigned these roles, so that more focus can be on the work they have to do, rather than on arguing over who is going to do what.

Job list and table adapted from Abouteducation (2015). See reference and link in the Reference section.

Student Role What They Do Relation to Cooperative Learning Strategies
Task Master/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 This role is evident in the following cooperative learning strategies: Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, Round Robin, Write Around, and Carousel. In each of these strategies, students are working in larger groups so it may be easier for students to get off task and to lose focus.
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. This role is evident in the following cooperative learning strategies: Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, Round Robin, Write Around, Carousel, and Think-Pair-Share and Tea Party to a degree. For the last two, since it is frequently only two students working together, they may both hold a role as a checker. Both students are to be aware if they are in agreement with one another, and prompt further discussion if they are not. For the other strategies, once again, since it is a large group working together one student may be checking for group understanding and agreement.
Recorder This student is responsible for writing down the answers that the students previously agreed upon in their groups This role is evident in the following strategies: Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, Round Robin, and Carousel. While this role is up for more debate, since you may want all students taking turns recording, it may be nice to have this job delegated to one student. This way, students won't be fighting over who is going write on the paper, and every child can know that their voices and their ideas are going to be heard.
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. This role is evident in the follow strategies: Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, Round Robin, Carousel, and Write Around. Since all students are taking turns writing in Write Around, the editor is responsible to checking that the work looks neat and is well organized. In all the strategies listed, the editor looks over the job the writer did and makes sure the finished product looks nice.
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. This role is evident in the following strategies: Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, Round Robin, Carousel, Write Around, Think-Pair-Share and Tea Party. Once again, with the last two strategies mentioned, both students may be playing this role by taking turns and ensuring the other has a chance to speak. In the other strategies, this student's job is very important for the success of the group, in that if the group is arguing and not all sharing their ideas, the work will not get complete.
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. This role is evident in the following strategies: Jigsaw, Numbered Heads Together, Round Robin, Carousel, Write Around, Think-Pair-Share, and Tea Party. In each of the strategies, students should be encouraging one another to share their ideas and deepen understanding for whole group success.

Please note that you may not use every student role in every strategy, or even consistently through every lesson. These roles should serve as a guide for you to help distribute jobs among the group members so that the lesson goes on with ease and enjoyment for the students.

At this time, please go to the google doc and refer to the third lesson in Unit 2.

How will This Help Me in the Classroom?

Knowing jobs that can be assigned to students in their cooperative learning groups can help to lead to success use of cooperative learning. As we learned in previous lessons, it is incredibly difficult for students to just know how to work together cooperatively. They may need a pre-lesson to teach them the big components involved. When you think about the different cooperative learning strategies that you can use, some of them necessitate giving jobs to the students to help them to all work together. Especially if you are working with younger students (elementary & middle school level), it your groups will run a lot more smoothly if you are leading them in a way that allows them to work cooperatively.

Think about back to our discussion on cooperative learning vs. group work. Now think about if you had the knowledge of cooperative learning and knew what a cooperative learning group was supposed to look like, but when you grouped your students and gave them their assignment, they quickly got off topic, fought with each other over answers, and didn't let some of the group members share their answers. When it came time for them to record the agreed upon answer, students were fighting over who was going to write and fighting over what they were going to write- because there was no true discussion taking place. Now imagine if the teacher had assigned jobs to the students and explicitly taught them what they were to do and who was responsible for what in their group. Not only would there be less arguing in that one student would be able to facilitate the conversation and keep the peace, but there would be a pre-assigned group leader to help maintain focus. Students wouldn't feel left out because they would know that their answers were heard and important.

While assigning students jobs may seem unimportant, it can make a big difference in the way your classroom is run with cooperative learning. During these lessons, your classroom is supposed to be a bit noisy- and that is okay! However, it is not okay if the noise is coming from disagreements and arguing, rather than engaging conversation.

Before Moving On...

In this unit, we learned more specifics about cooperative learning strategies and saw what a few of them looked like in action via YouTube. Additionally, we talked about student jobs and student's role during these learning activities, and how knowing these jobs and being able to assign them to your students can help lead to more successful integration into the classroom. In learning about the different activities and types of cooperative learning strategies, we started thinking about potential downfalls to this strategy. While cooperative learning is a very successful strategy, it can crumbly quickly if not done correctly. Unit 3 is going to contain information about the advantages & disadvantages of cooperative learning, and how we can avoid the downfalls.

Now that you have completed Unit 2, please complete the following assessment on what you've learned so far:

Unit 2 Assessment

Return to Unit 2 Homepage or Click to go to Unit 3- Advantages & Disadvantages of Cooperative Learning

Return to Minicourse Homepage


About Education. (2015, September 3). Effective cooperative learning strategies. Retrieved from: