KinderGals: Building Brain Power with Reciprocal Teaching and Cooperative Learning

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Building Brain Power with Reciprocal Teaching and Cooperative Learning


Have you ever heard the saying, “If you can teach it to someone else, than you really understand?” Well, I recently told a few teachers that I have become better teacher since I started  presenting. Every time I present and teachers ask questions, I have to rethink my practices. Now, when I get back in the classroom with kids, I have taken more time to think through the lessons. The book tells us, “Students’ memory is strengthened when they are provided with opportunities to teach the entire class, partners, or small groups.”
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Here are a few ideas that use this strategy:
Here the kids worked together to make the story map to retell “Rosie’s Walk”. Then, when it was time to retell, they made a circle and told the part of the story for which they made the setting.
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Here’s another example. Kids worked in groups of three to make the story map to retell “Mrs. Wishy Washy”. Then, they took turns telling the story to each other.
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Here the kids each have a character from “The Little Red Hen”. The children worked together to retell the story with each one becoming the character they were holding.
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Here the kids were comparing the character Ralph in two books from the “Bunny Trouble” series. They were working together to complete the Venn Diagram.
Marcia’s book tells us, “Because humans are social beings, working collaboratively elicits thinking that is superior to individual efforts.”
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On the rug, the kids spend a lot of time talking to their elbow partner. Once I teach them something, I have them turn to their elbow partner and explain what we just learned.
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They can also do quick “lean and tells” with the partner to share responses.
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In Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, kids work with their partner as part of their “read and write with others” time.
As Marcia’s book tells us, “Share what you know and watch memories grow.”
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In math the children work together to create ways to use the manipulatives to make meaning.
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Play centers are the perfect place to encourage cooperative learning! The children work together to create projects, games, art, and other such activities.
A few thoughts:
I sometimes think we get too caught up in taking a grade. This is when we move towards children working in isolation. But, if we can shift our thinking to ways to develop smarter children, we will see that cooperative learning is more effective.
I heard a recent research study on ipads. In one class there was 1 ipad for each child. In the other class, there were half as many. The children worked together in pairs on the ipads. The results…..the children in the second classroom actually outscored the first classroom!
Explicit lesson on how to work in cooperative groups and with partners must be taught. Children need to receive direct instruction on how to have a conversation!
Different types of cooperative/partner pairings are effective. I use heterogeneous groups for centers and cooperative groups. I tend to keep these groups all year unless there are problems.  Here is a blog post I  did to explain how I form these groups. http://kindergals.blogspot.com/2014/07/throwback-thursday-literacy-center.html
For readers and writers workshop and for elbow buddies, the partners are close to the same level. These change frequently.
And finally, I love this quote from the book:
People learn…
  • 10% of what they read
  • 20% of what they hear
  • 30% of what they see
  • 50% of what they both see and hear
  • 70% of what thy say as they talk
  • 90% of what they say as they do a thing
Now head on over to Stephanie’s blog  http://fallingintofirst.blogspot.com/2015/04/book-study-worksheets-dont-grow.htmlto see what other teachers are sharing.bookstudy1http://fallingintofirst.blogspot.com/2015/04/book-study-worksheets-dont-grow.html
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1 comment:

Sandy Welch said...

Hi Kim! I have truly enjoyed all of your book study posts. Cooperative learning is a big part of our classroom and I love to see all the different ways that kids come up with to solve problems. We have learned to value each child's methods/strategies. We celebrate them, in fact! Wonderful post! Thank you so much!

 
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