bits of KIBBLE

The Clique - cooperative learning strategies #3

Our past challenges focused on creating an appropriate environment for effective cooperative learning. By scheduling one classbuilding and two teambuilding activities per week, that are short and nonacademic, you can lay the foundation for success and allow students to hone their essential skills. In our new challenge, classes will build off their success by incorporating instructional content. Quiz-Quiz-Trade is a versatile cooperative learning strategy that provides structure for student interaction when reviewing simple facts, recalling definitions, answering questions with longer explanations in addition to many other instructional possibilities. Quiz-Quiz-Trade has the power to have students learn from their experiences rather than from our words (Kagan Book p. 6.1).

Quiz - Quiz - Trade

(Kagan Book p. 6.56)

Students quiz a partner, get quizzed by a partner, and then trade cards to repeat the process with a new partner.

Setup: The teacher prepares a set of question cards for the class, or each student creates a question card.

    1. The teacher tells students to "Stand up, put a hand up, and pair up." (Kagan Book 6.74)
    2. Partner A quizzes Partner B.
    3. Partner B answers.
    4. Partner A praises or coaches. (a mini lesson and demonstration on how to coach peers is highly recommended)
    5. Partners switch roles.
    6. Partners trade cards and thank each other.
    7. Repeat steps 1 - 6 a number of times.

Celebrate Success - tag @ArvadaAspires in your Tweet!

"Teaching with Poverty in Mind" book study

From the back cover: Veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students. (LINK to introduction)

    • Who: teachers
    • What: book study with weekly meetings to discuss and implement learnings
    • Where: AHS library
    • When: Six Wednesdays from 3:10 to 4:00 p.m. (October 4, 11, 18, November 1, 8, & 15)
    • Why: continued professional growth; recertification time

Please click on this LINK to complete the attached form if you are interested in the book study.

The Clique - cooperative learning strategies #2

In our last challenge, classbuilding sessions were discussed as a way for our students to see themselves as productive members of the class community. Similarly, we should use teambuilding activities to lay the groundwork for effective teamwork (Kagan Book p. 10.1). A key for cooperative learning success, teambuilding helps students get acquainted, develop team identity, provide mutual support, value differences, and develop synergy. Short teambuilding activities should be fun, nonacademic, easy for all, and occur twice a week.

RoundRobin as a Teambuilder

(Kagan Book p. 6.64 & 10.6)

    • Teacher poses problem to which there are multiple possible responses or solutions, and provide think time.
    • Students take turns stating responses or solutions.
    • Single RoundRobin Variation
      • In teams, each student in turn shares an idea. The RoundRobin is complete after each teammate takes one turn,

View this video of a class participating in a teambuilding activity.

About Me Question Cards

(Kagan Book p. 10.6)

Schools are missing what matters about learning

It seems our core conviction: “empowering students to be leaders of their own learning” has an equally important facet. To succeed in our mission of fostering excellence and growth, we should also promote curiosity. Encouraging and teaching students to “recognize, pursue, and explore, novel, challenging, and uncertain events” – in other words, “to be curious” – functions in conjunction with our core belief. In the attached article, Scott Barry Kaufman writes about how it is critical that we emphasize curiosity as it is shown to be a primary factor of academic achievement. And while Kaufman mentions STEM in the piece, it is easy to see how Project Based Learning can serve to stimulate this developmental characteristic.

Schools are missing what matters about leaning by Scott Barry Kaufman

Professional learning opportunities

Lunch 'n Learn: Cooperative Learning Dialogue & Strategies

Cooperative learning is critical in the development of our student’s essential skills (communication, adaptability, critical observation, collaboration, problem solving, and conflict resolution). As we continue to mold students into being leaders of their own learning, it is important that we continue our development of instruction that promotes and includes cooperative learning strategies. Whether you call it Kagan or just good instruction, let’s join together at lunch to share what has worked and consider a few new strategies. Bring your lunch as we gather to share.

  • Who: teachers
  • What: dialogue and strategies to enhance cooperative learning
  • Where: B206 - Amundson's room
  • When: Tuesday, September 19th, 11:45 to 12:15 p.m.
  • Why: enhance instruction; recertification time (30 min.); dessert

The Clique - cooperative learning strategies #1

Many of our colleagues utilize teaming strategies with their classes. In teams, students learn and become productive members to enhance their adaptability, problem solving, critical observation, teamwork and conflict resolution skills. However, it is also important for students to see themselves as productive members of a larger group – the class. To improve class climate and functioning, an investment in time for “classbuilding” is essential as it boosts student empowerment, ownership and comradery (Kagan Book p. 9.1). It is the fourth key for success using Kagan. A short, weekly investment in time, set aside for a fun classbuilding activity, will pay huge dividends down the road.

Mix-Pair-Share as a Classbuilder

(Kagan Book p. 6.46)

    • Students mix around the room.
    • Teacher calls "pair."
    • Students pair up with the person closest to them and give a high five. Students who haven't found a partner raise their hands to find each other.
    • Teacher asks a question and gives think time.
    • Students share with their partners using:
        • Times Pair Share
        • RallyRobin
    • Repeat the process with a few more questions.

View this brief video to see a class participating in a classbuilding activity for the first time this year. It not hard to envision the long term benefits as the class partakes in similar activities weekly.

How your nonverbals impact your teaching

To make headway in achieving our goal, teaching students to be leaders of their own learning, it is critical we establish and maintain learning environments that are safe and welcoming via sound classroom management practices. Non-verbal communication is an important facet in our classroom management system but it is often overlooked. In the attached podcast, Jennifer Gonzalez and Jack Shrawder dialogue about the importance of nonverbals and share tips we can employ to make our systems more effective. (the podcast really takes off at 3:25)

How your nonverbals impact your teaching by Jennifer Gonzalez

Celebrating us

With so many great things happening in the building, many of the wonderful feats performed daily get overlooked and therefore are not recognized. "Celebrating us" is an attempt to bring some of these accomplishments to light - thanks for doing what you do!

Incorporating Kagan strategies:

Amanda Amundson (Quiz-Quiz-Trade/RallyCoach), David Holt (teaming), Danielle Muller (Timed RoundRobin), Luke Orvis (Quiz-Quiz-Trade), Jamie Thorson (Quiz-Quiz-Trade)

PBL implementation:

Joe Ventola & Elaine Hill (monarch butterfly research and Butterfly Pavilion websites)

HACK mindset:

Rachael Powell (student led classes)

Have an issue? Throw some “rigor” at it… sorry, it’s not that simple!

Educational “buzzwords” come and go like the changing seasons. Of late, “rigor” is often cited as a solution to society’s educational difficulties - “If we increase rigor, student achievement will increase.” As Gerald Aungst points out in his thought provoking blog, it is more important to focus on how we establish learning environment where all students lean at high levels. He provides a short, five step exercise you and your team can complete during PLC time to analyze the cognitive depth of tasks you are using in your room and improve the rigor of your instruction.

Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to Increase Rigor by Gerald Aungst

Celebrating us

With so many great things happening in the building, many of the wonderful feats performed daily get overlooked and therefore are not recognized. "Celebrating us" is an attempt to bring some of these accomplishments to light - thanks for doing what you do!

Incorporating Kagan strategies:

Jennifer Ahnert, Amanda Amundson, Debbie Bacon, John Davis, Cory Graham, Elaine Hill, Danielle Muller, Judy Pizzulo, Rachael Powell, & Jamie True

Showing forethought to re-norm students to begin second semester: Lindsey Hewett

Incorporating non-Kagan cooperative learning methods: Barbara Steward

Developing enriched lessons: Heather Anderson

Give me a holler if you’re doing something cool or have a neighbor you feel should be recognized!

Kagan desk placards

As we ponder how to incorporate Kagan strategies into our class routines, some raised the question: How do I implement the four student team table system when I have individual desks in my room? I’m sure some of you have already been hard at work solving this issue. Here are some possible solutions to consider:

Jamie True created this placard, see her for the notebook file.

Jamie True created this placard, see her for the notebook file.

If you have a creative solution, shoot me an email. I’d love to snap a picture!

Kagan team building idea

For Kagan strategies to work and have a lasting, useful impact in our classes, an investment in time for “Teambuilding” is imperative as it enables students to get to know each other and trust their peers (Kagan Book p. 5.7). It is the fifth key for success using Kagan. Struggling to come up with an introductory teambuilding activity? Keep it simple and give teams a few minutes to create their own team name and poster. After, use the random spinner to select the team member who will present their team name to the class.

  • Kagan Selector Tools: (R:\\Arvada > Teachers > Kagan Cooperative… > Kagan Tools > Selector Tools > Selector Tools)

View this brief video if you need help accessing the Selector Tools. Please note, because the program is stored on the “R” drive, you need to use a Jeffco computer you are currently logged in to. I know... lots of technobabble – feel free to ask if you have questions.

False growth mindset vs. growth mindset

Carol Dweck, a leading expert in fixed versus growth mindset, explains how it is crucial for educators to be mindful in their use of praise with students. If employed haphazardously, praise can foster false growth mindset. Empty praise is a detriment to fostering true growth mindset with our students.

How Praise Became a Consolation Prize by Christine Gross-Loh

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