Cooperative Learning Notes - Day 2

Here are my notes from today at a great Cooperative Learning workshop. I always learn so much.

"I shall never think that I have arrived
lest I begin not to think

For things left dormant begin to rot
and o'er time begin to stink."

Vicki Davis -- That is me!
Here are the great notes -- taken directly from the Google Doc. In some places I go from notetaking to editorializing - I hope you can tell the change in tone.

MaryFriend Sheperd Day 2

Talked about how I presented the notes from yesterday and how things have changed. We talked about how Chrissy New Zealand left a comment yesterday on Mary Friend's class and how we streamed it live.

Lecture should not be the dominant mode of instruction although it can be used. (Clarification from yesterday.)

She has us think pair share what we did yesterday (I love think pair share -- use it all the time.) -- here are the highlights:

1- The principal of overchoice and teaching students to make a choice. (Have things where they won't always agree with the teacher.)
2 - Give one copy to the material
3 - Jigsaw (from Suzanne)
4 - Using pictures to teach -- Washington -- the power of that. (We literally all know our presidents from these drawings from the book yesterday from about a 20 minute lesson.)
**Idea -- sketch the graphics onto a sheet -- use paint pens and paint them onto the screen. Paint it on there-- paint pen the colors.** So,the process of making the large visual the kids will learn the president. (Look at the book from yesterday, Ready Set Remember by Jerry Lucas -- every single elementary school library must have it -- it will teach presidents and States and Capitals like nothing you've ever seen! Wow!-- The Jerry Lucas books are unbelievable.)

Great to tie curriculum together -- teachers cooperate -- novel from a period and history from a period.

Another strategy called the 3 2 1 -- It is our ticket out the door:
3 - Three strategies I would like to try right away.
2 - Two Ideas I have for collaboratively designing a lesson/unti using today's strategies.
1 - One strategy I want to find more about.

Assessment of cooperative Learning

Evaluation and assessment as you teach.
Evaluation -- the ongoing process - the informal observation watching students work -- formative evaluation and summative assessments.
Problem with assessing groups -- (we're spending a whole amount of the time discussing how to do this -- the one thing is getting students to contribute equally -- the key are wikis and things like Google Docs. That is the beauty of them. They allow a group - project done together but individual assessment of contribution -- who added the video - who added the podcast -- who edited the text. Who put in a comma and took it out and went through the motions?)

There is a time to not put the strong moderate and low students together -- you want to shift groups -- if you always put strong, moderate, low --what is the incentive for the low performer?

When you turn in group work -- you don't know who did what on the product. In cooperative learning -- each student has a part of the project that they are responsible for. You're not sitting at your desk grading papers -- you're a part of these projects. Your job is to be interacting with your students and put on foot miles while they are working with them.

Dominant student -- if you continue to dominate the others and do the work of the other students -- you will get a zero for group participation. If you give 25% of the grade for group participation. You cannot control and dominate -- you have to help everyone rise to a standard -- rise to a level of performance -- we have to learn how to work together. Your part may be an ace -- but it will be Johnny's part of the project. All 4 of you will edit, revise, grow, and work the product. All participants must be an equal part. The whole work should be representative of the work of everyone.

6 areas to choose to evaluate cooperative learning:

  1. Teacher assess group
  2. Teacher assess product
  3. Student Assess Self (See See Teacher assess self rubric )
  4. Student Assess Group
  5. Group Assess Group
  6. Teacher Assess Student

You won't use them all and there are a lot of rubrics available on the Internet for these.

Rubric generators:




If kids aren't sharing and have problems with dominance then you see that you need team building activities. Team building helps with dominance. If you have A students are having problems with sharing and working with others -- she says to give a 50 or a 0 or a shock b/c they don't participate well in a group. (of course you can decide later to ignore it she says.) You need to work with the students. (I prefer to do it with coaching and warning and helping so the contribution level is up.)

The minute you give constructive feedback - they won't listen to the good things you say -- so say good things first. Always -- so they will hear it!

Team Assessing Team:

Topic of study:

As a team, decide which answer best suits the way your team worked together and complete the remaining sentences:
1- We finished our task on time and we did a good job! Yes No
2 - We encouraged each other and we cooperated with each other. YES NO
3 - We used quiet voices in our communications. YES NO
4 - We each shared our ideas, then listen and valued each other ideas. YES NO
5 - We did best at
6 - Next time we could improve at

Give this ahead of time to your groups for group self assessment. Tell them what you're working on.

Team Assess Team

Project Topic of Title
Briefly describe your contribution to the cooperative project.
If you were to do this project over, what would you do differently to improve your work?
How could your team work together more effectively next time?
teacher Comments
All team members sign to show their agreement with the above descirption.
Final Grade (what they think they should get -- you still give them a grade from the teacher -- but look at this.)

Laura Candler - Teaching Resources -

You shouldn't do all 6 strategies at the same time. You can use a rubric or a more text form like this. You can use % (80% on product and 20% on teamwork) -- or you can use a rubric. Multiple ways to assess this. You decide how you will assess. Odds are you'll always have Teacher Assess Product -- but we traditionally haven't assessed the other five items on the list.

You may choose to assess the individual in the group, the group, the student self assessment. These are your choices.

Think about adding the other five to what you're doing.

What is the best way to inform the students in writing as to what you're doing?
Let them know ahead of time -- hand them the rubric up front. Let them know up front. Teamwork.

Before a project starts -- let students have input on rubric -- brainstorm and list 15 things you'll need to do on this project -- then have the teacher note it. Then pick 5 items to assess andthen that is how they assess -- that is the evaluation -- with ownership you have success -- great idea.

Group Evaluation
1 - We all contributed
not well ------------------------------------------------very well
2 - we used quiet voices:
never seldom fairly often always

3. We stayed on task
same criterail
4. Something we could do better next time.
This time sharing, next time something else.

Social Skills Checklist

Sharing listening Stays on Task Quiet Voices
4 members

Stays on Task
Quiet Voices
Member 1

Member 2

Member 3

Member 4

Grading Using Percentages ** THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE

Summary of the assessment:

Brain drain /10
Sloppy Copy /40
Good Copy /10
Social Skills / 40

Total / 100

The project is here:

We practiced setting up STAD Long Term Cooperative Groups (Student Groups - Achievement Divisions) Based on the students averages. This is great for skills. To help the students -- work together.
The purpose is to help students on the lower end improve.

Cooperative Learning
Addresses Academic Learning
Addresses Social Skills
Instructional Strategy

What incentive do your students who are the strong students have to work with the students in this group. (I would reward everyone based on the improvement of everyone in the group.)

You can average all of the grades in the group and if it comes up to an 80 average -- give everyone a 5 point bonus. Work in these groups -- check on the average -- this is a great idea! If everyone in the class makes a __ or above then we will all get a 5 point bonus on the test. If 3 people who have never made a 100 -- their groups get an extra 5 points. This gives incentives and motivations to work together. She likes to have at least 3 in a group -- not being tutored -- it becomes a negative -- 3-4 works al ot better. Also can say if anyone gets a 5% increase in their average this week -- you get a bonus this week -- then the best students want the lowest students. Give them 10-15 minutes a week to work together.

We are looking at the strategys -- Vygotsky -- people can learn one level of thinking beyond where they are -- they can understand several levels above where they are -- expose all students to the next level. Everyone exposed to different levels of thinking and more have strategies for solving the problem. There is a math strategy on this -- 4 problems a day. Teachers call -- talk about how they solved the problems - 15-20 minutes to debrief the students. Very successful on teaching these skills in the research. Numbered heads.

I am going to use STAD Log term groups to encourage blog postings -- I will have them in 3-4 person groups and give the groups 10-15 minutes a week. If all members of the group have done all 4 blog postings in a four week period -- each of them will get 5 points on their blog posting average. I am also going to do it on another problem area -- the assigned book on CD labs and assignments where they comoplete the assignments. I will give the groups 15 minutes -- that way all kinds are incented to help the others have everything in. This will help me greatly.
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