In my last post, Why I won’t use Direct Instruction, I was provocative and challenged some of the typical thinking about math instruction. The post generated some terrific conversation, both here and on Twitter, and although I have not changed my mind for my own classroom use, I do admit there may be times when DI has a function and purpose.
The grad class I am in has moved on, which is how classes work, and we are discussion Cooperative teaching this week. The textbook is very focused on English and Social Studies, which leaves the math and science people out a bit, but it does discuss the Jigsaw lesson plan at some length. The Jigsaw is a good strategy, and it is useful in math class for sure, but there are so many others!
To create a better list, I asked the #MTBoS for their favorites. I won’t embed all the tweets, but will give attribution to every person who submitted and idea or link in the idea. I want to feature the lesson plan ideas and the links to them. I have not used all of these. Heck, I don’t think I have used half of these! But the collection is amazing, and although some of the ideas don’t have details, you can figure out the idea from the names of some.
The really nice thing is that these are all cooperative lesson strategies from math teachers for math teachers. If you want some ideas on how to incorporate these well tested strategies, here you go:
- Speed dating: Me! @gwaddellnvhs, Mary-Ellen @MathSparkles; This was one of the two I suggested. I really like this method of getting learners collaborating with a purpose.
- Add it up or Placemats or 4Sum or Add ’em up: Me! @gwaddellnvhs; Heather Kohn @heather_kohn; S @reilly1041; Kate Nowak@k8nowak; This is another strategy I offered in my original question. I think I got it from Kate originally, forgot the name, and then called it Placemats because of a way to set it up using butcher paper. Same idea, different names.
- Participation Quiz or Partner Quizzes: Martin Joyce @martinsean; Rachel @Seestur ; Used these often. Very engaging way to get everyone focused. The tricky part is creating the teams for the quiz, but that is achievable.
- Clipboard of quotes & actions that support each other. Update whiteboard, then go over: Martin Joyce @martinsean
- Whiteboard Game: Lisa Bejarano @lisabej_manitou
- Problems around the room: Lisa Bejarano @lisabej_manitou
- Also a big fan of whiteboards where students keep answers secret and then they All “flash” at the same time: Mary-Ellen @MathSparkles
- Pass the Pen: Madelyne Bettis @Mrs_Bettis
- Work on the Wall: Madelyne Bettis @Mrs_Bettis
- Ss work prob on board while 2nd Ss “calls” it like a baseball announcer: Mary Williams @merryfwilliams, The boys get into it with the Bob Costas enthusiastic voice, “and he is STRIKING OUT LADIES AND GENTLEMAN!!” Most of the time they are really positive though – all the sports enthusiasts enjoy announcing 🙂
- Ghosts in the Graveyard: Mary Williams @merryfwilliams
- Sage and Scribe: Briana Guzman @brianalguzman
- Quiz Quiz Trade: Briana Guzman @brianalguzman
- There can be only one (marker): Nathaniel Highstein @nhighstein
- Having round tables in the classroom: Rachel @Seestur Rachel really enjoys having the round tables so learners have to look at each other while working. It makes total sense to me!
- Tarsia Puzzles: Sheri Walker @SheriWalker72; Paula Torres @Lohstorres1; In case you don’t know what Tarsia puzzles are, Tarsia is a FREE software package to make puzzles out of sets of problems. They are really cool, and when you require them to be worked in partners, can be a great way to incorporate cooperative learning in a different way.
- Card Sorts: Beth Ferguson @algebrasfriend; Card sorts have been around a while, and they are highly effective. I used them in AP Stats as well as algebra. Desmos recently incorporated card sorts into the Activity builder, so you can get awesome electronic card sorts now too!
- Row Games: Kate Nowak @k8nowak; Beth Ferguson @algebrasfriend; I have used Row Games too. The best part is the link takes you to a folder owned by Kate that has 3 pages of mostly word docs of teacher created games. This means you can edit and change them to make them better for your class! Also, it would be awesome if you shared back your creations to help others.
Additionally, David Wees tweeted out the following people, but didn’t give more info. I suggest contacting them directly for more information.
— David Wees (@davidwees) November 6, 2016
David later did followup with this link to TEDD (Teacher Education by Design). I poked around their site. Looks promising!
— David Wees (@davidwees) November 6, 2016
Amy Lucenta also was kind enough to let us know her ideas are found in her book from Heinemann Publishers.
— amy lucenta (@AmyLucenta) November 7, 2016
I hope this helps, and if you have any other cooperative learning ideas, drop them in the comments please!