Monday, March 8, 2010

Cooperative Learning

Implement a cooperative learning strategy. Explain whatyou did and reflect on its impact on your case study student as well as your other students.

Cooperative learning is a great concept and used everyday at Highlands. It is implemented in every class and kids understand it extremely well. Cooperative learnings is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.

I used a cooperative learning strategy last week that included a survival game. I had the class split into teams where they had to work together. Each team had to successfully go from one end of the gym to the other end of the gym without touching the gym floor. They had some obastalces to go over, through, under etc. During the game they had a certain amount of equipment that included scooters, mats, ropes etc. to help them all succesfully make it across the gym floor. The whole team was not safe until everyone made it across the gym floor succesfully. They had to work as a team to figure out strategies and concepts that would work to accomplish the task.
Questions about cooperative learning. Who invented cooperative learning? Does every elementary school in Edina use cooperative learning or concepts of cooperative learning?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lesson Reflection & Questions on Differentiation!

I decided to do my differentiation lesson on my basketball unit. The lesson objectives that I covered were dribbling and passing within the basketball context. I pre-assessed for this lesson based on observation and a small checklist that I used to look at the student's skills. I used different balls for this lesson which included regular sized balls, playground balls, and smaller basketballs. Using the different types of balls was to ensure success regarding the different abilities within the class. During the lesson I had the students partner with another person in class. Each partner group had one ball, a hula hoop and a rope that went under the hula hoop on the ground. The objective was for one partner to stand outside the hoop and dribble the ball in the hoop while the other person moved very slowly pulling the rope that the hoop is connected to. The students were trying to stay in control of the ball while dribbling the ball in the hula hoop. The product was dribbling within the hoop. For some of the students I had the partner not move the hoop and they just had to keep the ball dribbling within the hoop not moving which worked for the different ability levels. The assessment consisted of observation during the activity and having the students complete a self-assessment. Can you dribble with one hand or both? This lesson helps in future instruction to differentiate and keep thinking of new ideas. It also showed me that observation is extremely important and that skills are intra-connected. This did not affect my case study student since I see him 1:1 and this was a group lesson for one of my classes. What I learned about this topic was that teachers should adapt instruction to meet the individual needs of all the learners in the classroom. Differentiation is also when all students participate in a respectful work.