I am a huge fan of cooperative learning. Kids learn through genuine dialogue with their peers. I have found that a knowable kid can explain something to a confused student in a way that I often cannot. The only thing is, there are always a few kids that don’t participate with the rest of their group. Some of these students are shy, while other are not confident in their content knowledge. Through the years, I have tried a lot of different methods to get everyone involved such as: rubrics, checklist, group jobs, etc.
My Cooperative Learning Spinner is getting more kids involved. My students are working in 6 cooperative groups. When I give them a task (such as find 1/3 of the block I am holding), my students share their thinking with their group members. At the end of a lesson, I spin the cooperative learning spinner to select a group. Then, I spin it once again to pick a member of that group. Next, I ask that student a question from the lesson. If the group, had worked together to make sure everyone knew the information from the lesson, anyone from the group should be able to answer the question. Therefore, if the student gets the question correct, the entire group is rewarded! Click here to download your FREE Cooperative Learning Spinner!