Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Show and Tell

At the beginning of the year once students begin getting comfortable with each other, they like to "show and tell".  No matter what the grade level, most students like to talk about themselves.  A quick way to give students a time to talk is to use the structure Round Robin. 
1.  Give students time to think about what they would like to share.
2.  Explain to students that they have 30 seconds (or whatever time you specify) to share.
3.  Appoint a student from each team to begin sharing.
4.  Using Round Robin students continue sharing until all students have had a chance to share.
What could have taken 15 mintues, has taken two, and all students have shared and feel included.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get to Know You-- Find the Fiction

At the beginning of the school year I'm always looking for an activity for the students that will help them open up a little and brake the ice. Find the Fiction not only is a good get-to-know you activity, but it also introduces students to the structure in a fun way.

I always begin my modeling this. I write two facts about myself that are true and one that is not true. Each student gets to make a prediction, they get to decide which one they think is fiction. Once students have made their predictions and I have revealed my fiction, they create their own to share with teammates. They think it is fun trying to stump their classmate, and if they do, they treat it as if they have won something.

A Journey

Today I embark on a journey. Today is the day that I take all my ideas and experiences, unscramble them, and present them to you. I am a Cooperative Learning Guru! I create and implement ideas and materials everyday, so why not share them with you? With the help of others and years of experience, I have unleashed a multitude of resources. They may have needed a little tweaking and tugging, but in one way or another I have been able to meet the needs of my students.

The purpose of this blog is to simply share with you what I do in my classroom. Take it, use it. Take it, change it. Or if it doesn’t suit you, just leave it.