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.
Marcia’s book tells us, “Because humans are social beings, working collaboratively elicits thinking that is superior to individual efforts.”
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.”
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:
- 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