Lipson The Co-operative Academy

Lipson Co-operative Academy

Email

SLG

Co-operative Learning 2015/16

This SIG will focus on the theory behind and the use of Co-operative Learning within the classroom. It will be an opportunity to test and share structures/teaching strategies that support progression in numeracy and literacy; improve the ability of students to verbalise their understanding (oracy); how co-operative learning can support the DDT cycle; how co-operative learning can improve the engagement of disadvantaged students resulting in a narrowing of the gap; how co-operative learning can support students to become less reliant on teacher input to independence and where co-operative learning fits with the teaching of Post-16.

 

Click here to submit information for this blog

 

January 14th 2016

Using 'Jigsaw' in MFL This co-operative technique works really well to help break down texts (in my case foreign language but would work well with English lang. texts) into 4 smaller chunks, thereby making them more accessible to all students. I have used this technique successfully with a year 10 group, among which there is a number of students who are easily demotivated by longer/more challenging texts in French. Each student within the group of 4 is given responsibility for a specified paragraph (differentiated by ability according to difficulty of language/length of paragraph). I used this for a variety of language based tasks; the individual was responsible for vocab building, information finding & language analysis within their chunk of text. The group was then given time to feed back their findings to the group and each student required to annotate their individual copies of the whole text. A group challenge was then undertaken with each group competing to produce the best 'whole' text translation into English and which point the individuals work cooperatively to translate, check and edit their group's work. WWW - By chunking down the texts, more students are willing to have a go at the activity without feeling discouraged. In terms of challenge for the more able, the activity promoted more complex discussions about the tenses used within the text and how they can be recognized, in addition to the understanding that very small changes in language can create an entirely different meaning. EBI - this activity requires a substantial amount of time to be dedicated to one text, preferably a whole, it is therefore essential that the text be wholly pertinent to their learning. In this the case, the text provided a model text that could be manipulated or from which students could 'magpie' useful vocabulary and language structures. I also found that in some cases further additional challenge was required as there was a tendency within some groups for one person to complete other paragraphs in addition to their own. What I would try next time with this situation is to to provide an additional challenge activity, asking students to rewrite their chunk of text from a different perspective (i.e. make the verbs negative, write it in the past tense, write it about a different person).

 

January 14th 2016

I have been using an extension to table based group work which requires each table to have focused on a themed set of questions. Each table feeds back to the teacher and the rest of the class while the remaining tables write down the feedback. Once the class has started working any answer based questions posed by students can be directed to the table which 'Specialized' in that area for help.

 

January 14th 2016

I used rally coach activity where students had to coach their partner how to multiply expressions. Some students found it hard to verbalise and wanted to simply write the answers, so it took some encouragement. I modelled the first question with a student to help with this. As each student was coached in turn, they also needed to check that they agreed with the answer. This worked well as it allowed each student to explain how to do the task, and although the questions increased in difficulty, they did not discourage them as it sometimes would.

 

January 14th 2016

Plenary board for languages: I found this resource on the TES and it made plenaries a bit more fun. Students can volunteer to take part, or be picked at random,to throw the dice and answer the relevant coordinate question. Students found the new approach more engaging than usual however it does need adapting to suit my students better-for example I am going to change the last two columns or remove them completely as some activities were too time consuming or students were wary of completing them. I will write again to explain how the adapted grid works.

Resource: Plenary Board

 

January 14th 2016

I tried a jigsaw-type activity with my two Year 11 groups. They had to research the policies of four American presidents so I decided that it would be sensible if in their cooperative groups, each student took one president each. I designed an A3 sheet for each group with specific questions for each of the 4 students - an idea borrowed by Kevin Williams. Students did not know, but the tasks were differentiated i.e. questions on President Kennedy were easier to access that those on Reagan, which involved more discussion of economic policy. Students were placed into groups, and given the task based on ability. The research task and the answering of questions was done well by all students - this took a full hour and it was very productive. A very easy hour for me. The reporting back within each group happened in the next lesson. This was more problematic. I initially grouped all the students looking at each of the 4 presidents together to ensure that all students had a good level of understanding to report back to the rest of their group - they all did. However, a number of less able students struggled to understand the feedback from other group members on the more difficult presidents who they had not studied. I let the activity run. However, I had to take these students through the work again at the beginning of the next lesson - they needed my further input in order to understand the more complex elements. However, the majority of the students both worked well and understood enough to go on to complete the exam-style answers. I think the crucial element to this style of activity is to design differentiated questions and to carefully consider both the group make-up and the task given to each individual. Be aware, however, that less able students may require more teacher input both during and after the activity.

 

December 3rd 2015

'Spend a Quid' Can be used individually or in teams. I have found giving one note per group particularly effective as it leads to deeper understanding through qualifying and debating choices. This resource can be adapted to any subject using famous scientists for science, historians for history, etc.

Resource: Spend a Quid MPE

 

December 3rd 2015

To guide students in giving productive and challenging peer feedback, I produced a set of cards. Students read each other's work, and then select the card that will provide their partner with a challenging extension activity.

Resource: Stretch and Challenge Reading Cards

 

November 24th 2015

This week I tried 'Rally Coach' with year 8 on multiplying decimals. Students were labelled A and B, where A would try a question and B would coach them. After this, students swapped roles and repeated the process. The questions were presented on a sheet split into two columns, starting with simple examples and progressively getting more difficult. I liked this structure because students felt a responsibility for ensuring their partner got the correct answer and it made them dependent upon each other rather than the teacher. It also meant that more students could then progress independently on the next task. The only drawback was that some keen students wanted to complete all of their questions at once, rather than swap roles. Next time I would get students to do a rally robin after each question, explaining to each other how they answered the question.

 

November 24th 2015

I have tried an all write round robin. The subject was on BIDMAS and I gave each student a sheet with some BIDMAS questions on it. They were instructed to put their names on top of their sheet. They were then split into groups of 4. They answered one question and then passed their sheet to the left. They repeated this process until the sheet was completed. The first group to finish put their sheets in the air and could win a prize if they were all correct. If all of the questions were not correct they would have to find the error before they could put their sheet up in the air again. During this time another group could put their sheets up to say they are finished. This meant that all were engaged and taking part and all were dependent on each other to complete the task. There was also no idle time with students not participating as all were writing at the same time. The drawback to this was that I had to check many different answers quickly and some students would have to wait whilst I was checking another group`s work.

 

November 24th 2015

Numbered heads together. During this task, pupils were numbered 1 - 4 and provided 4 different contextual extracts to read each corresponding to the number they were allocated. After 3 minutes silent reading time, the pupils selected the 3 most important points. Pupils were then seated with others of the same number to debate their choices. Once they agreed, they returned to their original grouping to summarise and share their learning. This task promoted individual responsibility for learning as well as group accountability.

 

November 24th 2015

I describe my activity as 'retrieve,report, record, identify and classify': groups of 3 - 1 scribe and 2 reporters. The 2 reporters walk around the room looking for quotes from a poem (we used 'Cousin Kate' by C. Rossetti. They must remember each quote exactly and verbally report these back to the scribe for transcription onto a large sheet. No-one is allowed to call out across the room. Once all quotes are collected, they must classify the quotes according to a set criteria. The yr9 class who tackled this engaged in the task and respected the rules, despite previous issues with over-enthusiasm. Positive outcomes for building up retention, clarity when reporting for accuracy of reproduction, small element of competition created positive atmosphere in group not previously known for teamwork ability. A positive outcome presenting no organisational issues and ensuring full class participation. Follow-on work included extended writing.

 

November 24th 2015

Group Critique for year 12 and 13 Art students. Aim is for students to use each other as a resource, for students to get used to structures that will be used in University and to provide informative and constructive feedback to help them move forward with their course work. Structure: The group analyses a students work. The student who's work is being analysed does not speak, but scribes what is being said. The teacher poses differentiated questions as required to direct the critique so it hits three point's; What is the art? What is the theme of the work? Who or what could the student look at or do to move forward? The students then undertake the same process with the next persons work, so each person ends up with a written feedback sheet and having participated in giving feedback. Pros to this: Its a student lead activity. University style structure, so preparing students for the next level. Students practice engaging with each other intellectually. Questions from teacher can be differentiated accordingly. Cons: Students can be initially shy. Students can be hurt by others feedback.

 

November 24th 2015

2 staff within the MFL faculty have been working together to trial the 'jigsaw' cooperative learning structure. The aim of this structure is to divide a text/activity between the number of people within a designated group, each with a specific role that will enable the group as a whole to deconstruct, analyse and understand the language within the specific text. We have trialed 2 approaches; either dividing the text into paragraphs with each student having the same job but tackling a slightly different piece of the text (using a dictionary to translate words and annotate) or asking different students to find different linguistic elements within the text e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives, tenses. The impact of this has been that less confident students are more willing to engage in conversation /debate / engage with the activity as a whole as they do not perceive the text as an insurmountable task (which is a barrier to some) and more able students can encourage and support others in the feedback stages. In terms of progress, this activity had an immediately identifiable and positive impact on students' learning as they were able to acquire new language and demonstrate their understanding of it by using it within their subsequent writing activity - this may need to be undertaken in a second session. We feel the only potential issue with this task is that you need a sufficient amount of time to complete this in the required amount of depth - ie. it can easily take a whole hour lesson.

 

November 24th 2015

I was interested to read about the cooperative strategy called 'info dump'. I can see how this would be applicable to my subject area in both the theory and practical elements of the subject.

 

November 24th 2015

I have used an 'info dump' with my KS4 students. Students are given a question or topic and asked to jot ideas down on post-it notes. They then put them into the middle of the table. Students are later given a 6 mark level of response/quality of written communication question and select/arrange their post-it notes as a table. These act as scaffolding for their answers, which they then write individually. I have found that this gives students a starting point and their answers are better structured. It also aids more able students to link ideas together.

 

November 24th 2015

Using James Bond theme to teach sexual reproduction in plants. The topic was broken down into 4 subsections each with an individual question. The tables were mixed ability and the four jobs were ability related. The roles were M, Q and two 007s. M collated the information and kept students on task, Q completed internet research and 007 used textbooks and their own work. They had 10 minutes on each question and then I would pick on anyone to answer the question from each table. The final information was to support the completion of an end point task. This was to develop team work and cooperation which enabled two students to improve their communication skills and ability to work within a team.

 

November 24th 2015

How to engage reluctant readers: If you have to deliver an extract or a piece of text within your lesson, why not try this BINGO activity to motivate reluctant readers? Simply select a bank of words from your extract and upload them to a simple-to-use customisable 'Bingo Card Generator' such as: print-bingo.com. This will allow you to create 20 individual cards each featuring different words from your chosen extract. (The trick is to enter more than 20 words on your database!) Students will follow the extract attentively, looking out specifically for their card's words. Not only does this activity ensure all students are listening, it also encourages them all to take notice of each word. It is also valuable to print a copy of the extract for yourself featuring all of the chosen words from the bingo bank in highlighted ink or underlined. This will help you slow down and enunciate the specific words students need to win the task. A simple prize is key to the winner of the 'full house'. Something as inexpensive as a nice bar of chocolate or a commendation usually suffices. 'Chapter Bingo' - fast and effective; creating attentive listeners from once reluctant readers.

Bingo - Ghost of Christmas Past Resource

 

November 24th 2015

The context for Victorian literature is a key part of what the students need to learn. The students were put into differentiated working groups each with a different focus on Charotte Bronte and Jane Eyre (some focuses were simpler eg plot others more challenging eg the role of the governess) The groups had worksheets with key guiding questions that they divided between them to find the information individually. They then put their research onto powerpoint slides with illustrations and a group leader was responsible for bringing the slides together into a presentation. Each team member had to present a couple of slides of their presentation while the class made bullet pointed notes under the various headings. The students enjoyed the independence and making discoveries by themselves and their confidence and team work was built in making and presenting the powerpoints. They also listened well to each other and voted on which presentation they thought was the best. What I will now do is put all the slides together into one master PP and email it to the students so they can have it as a revision and reference resource for Victorian literature context.

 

November 24th 2015

Read/Write Activity to Encourage Positive Interaction This activity is successfully encouraging a year 8 class with a difficult social dynamic to work co-operatively to achieve a common goal. * Give the class a key question. * Person 1 gives a verbal answer; person 2 writes person 1's answer down. * Person 2 feeds the answer back to the class. Swap roles and give a second key question. Once students had completed this activity a few times, their interactions became more positive and worthwhile. Their engagement in the task increased, as did their sense of individual accountability and social responsibility.