Setting Up Cooperative
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Cooperative learning is a way of structuring
your classroom so that your students
work together to accomplish shared goals and products. By working
together the learning of each individual is maximized . In a
cooperative group each student is individually responsible for
the success or failure of the entire group. Business and industry
leaders tell us that they want schools to teach students to work
collaboratively on projects because this is a necessary work
There are many ways to set up cooperative
groups. How you set up your groups will depend on the activity,
the age, ability and social skills of your students,and the time
you plan for your cooperative group activity. For some students
cooperative learning can be a frustrating experience if it is
not properly set up.
If you have not use cooperative learning groups
before, you will find it takes a little practice. Here are some
good general guidelines to follow:
When setting up cooperative groups try to
foster groups that encourage positive interdependence. This means
that the students in each group need each other's skills to succeed.
Make sure you have a system in place for individual accountability.
Know how you will make sure each student does his/her fair share
of work, and that all students learn. At the end of each group
period give your group time to process and reflect on how the
group performed. This can me done using a feedback form. Before
you begin your cooperative group project make sure the rules
and guidelines for group work are clear and are understood by
all students. Spend some reviewing and building social skills
those cooperative activities that these social skills.
to find a practice activity is. For this activity the students
- Formulate an answer individually.
- Share their answers with their partner.
- Listen carefully to their partners' answers.
- Create a new answer through discussion.
Each member of
a cooperative group should be assigned a specific role. Roles
will be determine by the task assigned to the cooperative group.
Typical roles are:
- Group Leader
- Materials Monitor
Other roles may be:
- Quiet Monitor
- Time Keeper
Things to do when you set up cooperative groups:
- Define the task or lesson
- Group size
- How students will be assigned to groups
- Abilities and skills
- Free choice
- By topic of interest
- Determine room arrangement
- Prepare materials that will be needed by
- Assign roles and define the job for each
- Define the final expected outcome or product
- Determine how you will assess both group
and student learning
- Define specific behaviors expected during
- Provide time for reflection and feedback
on group process.
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