Cooperative Learning Groups or Not?
Children in cooperative learning groups have consistently shown greater achievement than children who participate in traditional grouping schemes. In Mr. Smith’s situation, he would have to carefully plan steps in order to accomplish the task. Research has proven cooperative grouping to be an effective reading and writing instructional strategy. Some critics argue that assigning grades is a major setback when using cooperative learning groups. To eliminate this problem, Mr. Smith should create a rubric that is clearly explained. Mr. Smith wants his students to read, think, and write to complete the task at hand. To ensure success in using cooperative grouping, Mr. Smith must consider four distinct factors that should be implemented before the learning can begin.
First, each lesson begins with teacher instruction and modeling. Mr. Smith must show students what is expected of them. Mr. Smith could demonstrate or role play certain scenarios if disagreements occur in a group. He has to show students how to handle conflicts in a tactful manner. The students must work in the group together to accomplish a task assigned by the teacher to the group. Next, the student should work on individual assignments related to a group-assigned task. It is extremely important for each student to be willing to complete his or her part of the group-shared assignment.
Since Mr. Smith is new to utilizing cooperative group learning, he may want to observe another teacher who uses the strategy effectively in the classroom before implementation. Generally, Mr. Smith would have to motivate the students to read. Mr. Smith could preview the chapter with the students in a whole group discussion before any other activity begins. This process allows students to make predictions about what they will discover in the novel. Once Mr. Smith has activated some background experiences the modeling and instruction can begin. The size of the...