Thursday, October 18, 2012

Incorporating Cooperative Learning Groups...

I have really thought "outside the box" this year with my classroom set-up. I incorporated cooperative learning groups into the mix this year. I have students break into 3 different groups...usually each group contains 3-4 students. I have very small classes to work with. I start each group at a different activity. They have 15 minutes at each station to work on the game, activity or computer work. It's great because the students never seem to get bored since they are changing 3 times during the class period. I also like these groups because students are able to help each other and lots of discussion is happening....the good kind!!! My students seem to be able to stay on task a lot better after bringing in the cooperative learning groups. I make sure that students work with different students each day of the week so that they are able to interact with their entire class throughout the span of the week. I've noticed that they don't gripe when they may have to do a little paper/pencil work because they know they get to play the games and work on the activities also. I also love the fact that when my students enter the classroom that they are always asking what they get to do today. It makes me feel like they are enjoying the different atmosphere that I have tried to bring to the class...especially an algebra class. I have my class set up into three different sections.

The first is where we do more guided practice, it is set up by the whiteboard. 

I have six desks in a semi circle close to the whiteboard. This is where we go over new concepts or maybe a concept that they just learned in their Algebra I class. It's great because I have fewer students to attend to and can really help them on the material that they specifically need help with. 

The second section is four groups of two desks. 

I have it where the students are facing each other. I use this section when we are working on partner play or group work since students can just connect their desks together.

The third section is three groups of two desks.

This section is usually set aside for when students are working on their computers in a cooperative learning group. It's closest to the other two outlets I have in my room, that way students can plug in their computers if there batteries are getting low.

I like the spacing of the sections because it is very easy to get through the room and monitor how the students are doing. I also like the sections because I know that each group is working on something different and yet all the students in the group are working on the same activity. Students can help each other before they have to ask me which I love because that means that students are learning in a cooperative environment.

Hope you enjoyed looking at my class set-up!!

Mrs. Math 

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