Mrs. Guzek’s 2nd grade class and Mrs. Lee’s 4th grade class have been doing Cooperative Learning activities this year as part of their daily classwork. Depending on the day, you could observe them working on math, language art or writing. Cooperative Learning gives students the opportunity to be both the learner and the teacher. Students say they enjoy doing both roles and being able to work with different people.
Mrs. Guzek’s class uses the “sage and scribe” method to work on math skills. Students are assigned a starting role as the sage, teacher, or the scribe, student. The “sage” student gives instruction on how to solve the problem to the “scribe” who is responsible for all of the writing. After completing one half of the math page, it is flipped over and the roles are reversed. Students are engaged in teaching the steps of the problem to their partner because they enjoy the interaction and showing off their knowledge! This also gives the teacher the opportunity to float around the room and help those who are having difficulties, as well as, assess how well students understand the concepts that have been taught.
Mrs. Lee’s class uses Cooperative Learning to enhance their writing lesson. First, the class discusses the jobs/roles that are needed in order to complete their assignment. They define each role by its responsibilities and materials needed to complete the job. Each member of the group is given a pre-determined role by placing a numbered mat in the middle of the group at the start of the activity. Each member of the group works within their assigned role to complete the story web while sharing what they learn as they go along with their research. The student s say they enjoy the cooperative learning assignments more because they feel they can manage their assignment better. They feel they learn more because they don’t have to focus on everything but rather can be inspired by what other group members share and get excited by what they can share with their group right away.
Both classes are enjoying the benefits of classrooms that are filled with students who can work together to accomplish their goals!