Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning and I use it at every opportunity. Below are a couple of related rules I employ during cooperative learning

Rule 1: Classroom Layout

Who cares? There is no rule (Like Fight Club) so I keep the layout fluid. I tell the children to sit where they want and children immediately sit beside their friends. The children that do not have friends (every class has a few), will sit with the other friendless people or at the extra chair at the friends’ table. So, while nurturing a cooperative classroom, new friendships will ensue. There is more about classroom layout here.

Rule 2: If you cannot work where you are sitting, I have the right to move you.

I have found, hands down, that children behave, and are more productive when they sit beside their friends, especially with the threat of being moved hanging over their heads (boundaries and rules are good here).

Cooperative Learning celebrates the individuals’ talents, achievements, interests and builds the grassroots foundation for a happy, healthy environment; every single solitary person’s unique qualities are honoured and with that comes respect for the group.