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cooperative learning

Have you ever tried jigsaw?

Hello colleagues, You may be familiar with a cooperative learning activity known as jigsaw or expert jigsaw.  Those who are interested can read a description of jigsaw at this link. I value cooperative learning activities since they allow for authentic interaction while also supporting the application of teamwork skills.

Is group work effective in ABE?

Hello colleagues, We teachers often hear how important it is to engage learners in working in small groups to help them enhance their communication and teamwork skills.  I tend to think that groups that work well together often stimulate more creative thinking.

How effective is group work in your classes? What makes it easy or hard? Do students welcome working with one another? Do you see positive outcomes in terms of student learning from group work?

Fresh Idea for Teaching The Declaration of Independence

Hello colleagues, Many teachers use the Jigsaw cooperative learning activity as a teaching strategy. For those who may be unfamiliar with the technique, here's are the steps. To implement a Jigsaw activity, the teacher selects a text and divides it into sections. Each part is assigned to different small groups. Individuals in each group become expert on their assigned part of the text. They then teach their part to the other students in class. The result is that everyone learns about the whole text, but in a highly interactive way.

Heterogenous Grouping to Support English Learners in Career Pathways Course

Hello colleagues, For many years, I have overseen graduate students' Action Research projects that are required to complete a master's degree in education at a university in my community. Almost all the grad students I've worked with are K12 teachers. I'd like to share an Action Research project that was conducted by a high school ESL teacher that had some really interesting outcomes.

Evaluating Project-Based Learning?

Hello colleagues, Do you integrate project-based learning in your practice? If so, how do you evaluate projects? Do your projects require collaboration among students? What are some effective ways to assess how teams work together in collaborative projects?

Thanks for sharing your ideas and good practices here in our CoP!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Assessment, CoP



White board hold-ups

Hello colleagues, In my advanced ESL class yesterday, we had a vocabulary quiz over the academic words we've been studying. On Wednesday, I wanted to give the students some time to review the vocabulary words and prepare for the quiz. I decided to try an activity with white boards that I've used before, but I wanted to make the activity more interactive and cooperative than I had in the past.

Math: How tall is the flagpole?

Hello math teachers, Check out this great Teaching Channel video of a lesson on using triangle similarity to estimate the height of a flagpole. The students engage in solving a real world problem with partners and in the process enhance several essential math skills. How does the teacher assess and further his students' knowledge of similarity? How does this lesson build background knowledge for students who lack some of the basics?

Academic Language: We are like fish trying to describe water!

Hello friends, Many of us are now starting to look to the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) to guide teaching and assessing. Communicating effectively with others through academic talk is deeply integrated into these standards in a variety of ways -- very explicitly in the English Language Arts standards as well as in the Mathematics Practices.

Jigsaw Vocabulary

Hello friends, I recently came across a Teaching Channel video that demonstrates a vocabulary activity that intrigued me. I was eager to try this activity out and was able to do so last week. I'll explain how it worked in my pre-CNA class.

Cooperative learning and assessment

Hello colleagues, I was recently reminded once again of the classic cooperative learning assessment strategy called "numbered heads." It's funny how we sometimes forget about some wonderful old stand-by ideas. I made a commitment to begin incorporating numbered heads into my instruction. This past week I did so with great results.


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