Engaging Students Through Cooperative Learning: Ideas for Success

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  • Engaging Students Through Cooperative Learning: Ideas for Success

    Laura SchulzTalent Development High Schools

  • Three Musketeers: A TEAM Building ActivityFind three things that everyone on the team likes

    Find three things that everyone on the team dislikes

    Find one thing that is unique to each of the team members

    Decide on a team name that has something to do with your collective likes and dislikes

    Write your TEAM name on your Table Tent

  • What makes a TEAM different than a group?

  • What is a Team?Teams differ from groups because they include the following basic elements of cooperative learning:

    Goals are shared Information is circulatedRoles are assignedMaterials are managedTeammates depend on each other to complete tasks successfullyStudents gain respect for each others contributions to the team

  • Goal Setting: Why are we here today?

    Think about what your expectations are for the professional development session today

    Pair with another team member to discuss expectations

    Share as a team your expectations

    Set 3 goals your team wishes to accomplish during our session today

    Write those 3 goals on the back of your teams table tent

  • Why Cooperative Learning?

  • We Learn:10% of what we read20% of what we hear30% of what we see50% of what we both see and hear70% of what is discussed with others80% of what we experience personally95% of what we teach someone else

    William Glasser

  • Expectations in the Workplace: How have things Changed?Organizational EffectivenessReadingProblem Solving TeamworkInterpersonal SkillsWritingComputationListeningCreative ThinkingLeadershipOral CommunicationCareer Development/Motivation

  • According to Fortune 500 Companies: The Top Skills sought by employers1970READING




  • Thinking about the subject or subjects you teach(Knowing the skills that are in demand in the workplace today)

    What jobs or careers are you preparing your students to hold?

    (Use chart paper to share some examples)


  • A History of Cooperative LearningCooperative learning is not a new idea. The Talmud clearly states that in order to learn you must have a learning partner. In the first century, Quintillion argued that students could benefit from teaching one another. The Roman philosopher, Seneca advocated cooperative learning through such statements as, "Qui Docet Discet" (when you teach, you learn twice). Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1679) believed that students would benefit both by teaching and being taught by other students.

  • A History of Cooperative LearningIn the late 1700s Joseph Lancaster and Andrew Bell made extensive use of cooperative learning groups in England, and the idea was brought to America when a Lancastrian school was opened in New York City in 1806. Within the Common School Movement in the United States in the early 1800s there was a strong emphasis on cooperative learning. In the last three decades of the 19th Century, Colonel Francis Parker brought to his advocacy of cooperative learning enthusiasm, idealism, practicality, and an intense devotion to freedom, democracy, and individuality in the public schools. Parker's advocacy of cooperation among students dominated American education through the turn of the century.

  • A History of Cooperative Learning

    John Dewey promoted the use of cooperative learning groups as part of his famous project method in instruction.

    In the late 1930's, however, interpersonal competition began to be emphasized in schools

    In the late 1960s, individualistic learning began to be used extensively.

    In the 1980s, schools once again began to use cooperative learning.

  • What is Cooperative Learning?Cooperative Learning refers to a set of instructional methods in which students work in small, mixed-ability learning teams.

    The students in each team are responsible not only for learning the material being taught, but also for helping their teammates learn.

  • Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other's learning (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1993).

    Within cooperative learning groups students discuss the material to be learned with each other, help and assist each other to understand it, and encourage each other to work hard.

  • Cooperative learning groups may be used to teach specific content (formal cooperative learning groups), to ensure active cognitive processing of information during a lecture or demonstration (informal cooperative learning groups), and to provide long-term support and assistance for academic progress (cooperative base groups) (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1993).

    Any assignment in any curriculum for any age student can be done cooperatively.

  • Benefits of Cooperative LearningIncreased AchievementIncrease in Positive RelationshipsGreater Intrinsic MotivationHigher Self-EsteemMore On-Task BehaviorBetter Attitudes Toward Teachers and School

  • Additional Benefits of Cooperative LearningStudents take responsibility for their own learningStudents translate teacher talk into student speak for their peersStudents engage in cognitive collaboration. They must organize their thoughts to explain ideas to classmatesStudents have FUN learningStudents social nature is used to their advantage

  • Bonuses for High AchieversHigher levels of achievementEven greater retention of information due to cognitive rehearsalDevelopment of key skills:SocialLeadershipCommunicationDecision MakingProblem SolvingConflict Resolution

  • Basic Elements of Cooperative LearningPositive InterdependenceFace-to- Face InteractionIndividual AccountabilityInterpersonal And Small Group SkillsGroup ProcessingTaken from: Circles of Learning: Cooperation in the Classroom (Revised Edition) D.W. Johnson, R.T. Johnson and Edythe Johnson Holubec. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986

  • Positive Interdependence

    Students must feel they need each other in order to complete the groups task

    Mutual GoalsJoint RewardsShared Materials and InformationAssigned Roles

  • Face-to-Face Interaction





    Receiving Feedback

  • Individual Accountability

    Teams succeed when:

    Every member has learned the material

    Every member has helped complete tasks

    Frequently teachers assess individual learning

  • Interpersonal and Small Group Skills




    Conflict Management

    Active Listening

    Challenging Ideas Not People


  • Group Processing

    Giving students the time and the procedures to analyze how well their teams are functioning with:Learning tasks

    Social skills


  • Sample Types of ActivitiesDirect Instructional Activitiespresent information to students or demonstrate skillsActivities for Student Practiceafter direct instructionCooperative Learning Instructional Activitiesbrainstorming, note-taking pairs, cooperative writing and editing pairsWhole Lesson Formatsinvolves teacher-directed and student directed strategies without other lesson components

    Movement Oriented Activitiescorners


  • Cooperative Note-taking Pairs

    Objective:To enable students to take something from one anothers notes to improve their ownDirections In Brief:1. Assign or allow students to select partners.2. Teach3. Stop every 10 minutes for sharing of notes.

  • Cooperative Note-taking PairsCheck - inDirections in Brief

    While teaching, stop periodically for a check-in.Instruct students to skim their partners notes looking for:information they missedinformation partners have incorrectly noted3. Students retrieve their own notes and make any needed changes.

  • Objectives:To move students in a purposeful wayTo gather data in a quick, visual way that is engaging

    Directions:Identify the kind of data you want to gather.Post four multiple choice responses, one in each corner.Students select their responses.Members of groups discuss their choices.Spokespersons summarize/present group members thoughts.


  • Fearless

  • Cautiously Optimistic

  • Other

  • CORNERSGo to the corner

  • THINK WRITE PAIR - COMPAREObjectives: to give rehearsal time, engage more students, and promote thoughtful responses

    Directions:Present a problem, idea or question to be discussedPair students randomlyAllow time for individuals to think in silenceAllot time for students to write responses (independently)Give time for partners to compare their responsesGive the whole class time to discuss responses

  • THINK WRITE PAIR - COMPARE Think of one way you could apply 4 CORNERS in your subject area(s).

  • What are the Pros and Cons of using 4 Corners?PROCON

  • FormationsObjectives: to make abstract concepts more concrete while incorporating movementDirections in Brief:Identify an abstract conceptTranslate it to a living modelCompose steps in the process of constructing the modelEngage students in construction of the modelEngage students in processing the concept

  • Formations1. Meet with others in your subject area

    2. Decide upon one abstract concept and a formation that makes it concrete.

    3. Be prepared to present your formation to your colleagues in other subject areas.

    Note: Every member of your group does not have to be a part of your formation

  • Designing an 18 Week PlanIdentify essential skills and information to be taught using a variety of resourcesHawaii Standards

    Curricula Frameworks from a variety of sources

    In house resources such as teacher lessons, textbooks, etc

  • Restructuring does not mean throwing out everything from before block scheduling. Incorporate the best of the tried and true methods, build adapt and reincorporate them in the new time frame.

  • List the most important concepts/skills you want students to understand before the end of the courseList effective activities now used to address each goalIndicate which concepts you wish to address in more depthThink of ways to contextualize each goal with reality based activitiesConsider various strategies you might add to address each goal

  • Design Weekly Lesson PlansProvide a detailed outline of activities for each unit including possible materials, resources, strategies

  • Design Daily Lesson PlansInclude at least three activities which allow for:The incorporation of movement

    The inclusion of time for whole class, individual and group work

    Changes in media

  • Traditional Lesson DesignWarm up/ Problem Solving10-15Homework Review10New Material25-30Practice Activity15-20Closure10Writing 5-10

  • Lesson Plan With Cooperative GroupsWarm-Up10Direct Instruction10-15Work in Small Groups20-25Small Group Presentations20-25Large Group Interaction15Closure/Writing/Assignments10

  • Allocation of Test Related TimeTest Review15-40Test60-85

  • What is a ROTATING REVIEW?

    TopicSomething I learned today. . . Students walk around the room to each piece of chart paper and write something about what they learned that day. Sheets are posted and used as a review.

  • Objective:

    to get students to recall, summarize or brainstorm


    State the problem, topic or issue Distribute one sheet of paper to each groupGive a time limit and ask students to begin to write

  • Round TableEach person at your table should write one thing he/she has learned about cooperative learning.


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