Co-operative Learning

Cooperative learning is a powerful teaching strategy that's more than just a passing fad. Research has shown that when implemented properly, students in cooperative learning classrooms outperform their peers in traditional classrooms. The key is knowing how to implement the strategies to foster interaction while making sure all students are held accountable. Think-Pair-Share is a method that allows students to engage in individual and small-group thinking before they are asked to answer questions in front of the whole class. There are four steps to this method. The first step, groups of four students listen to a question posed by the teacher. Secondly, individual students are given time to think and then write their responses. Thirdly, pairs of students read and discuss their responses. Finally, a few students are called on by the teacher to share their thoughts and ideas with the whole class. This method can be very useful and work well in the science classroom due to the continual request of science teachers having students formulate hypotheses about the outcome of an experiment before it is done. (Example: A teacher could pose the question, ‘What is Polymorphism?’ students then think individually about the question. After a couple minutes of thought the students then turn to a shoulder partner and discuss their thoughts with each other. The teacher then facilitates a whole class discussion.) Students typically work in teams of four. This way, they can break into pairs for some activities, and then get back together in teams very quickly for others. It is important, however, to establish classroom norms and protocols that guide students to:


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