Cooperative Learning Strategies
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In cooperative learning, small groups of individuals work together, using a variety of strengths and abilities to complete a specific task. Individuals are able to learn from one another, and all recognize that they share a common fate in the activity. Because of this, they are able to work together, sharing the experience and combining their energies to learn from one another and accomplish a goal.
There are several different strategies that can be implemented in cooperative learning. As an example, students can be broken up into five groups, with each member of a group learning the same task. Then, the groups are reorganized so that one person from each of the previous five groups comes together to form a new group. Each individual is then responsible for teaching their task to the other four individuals. This ensures that they learned the material and are functioning at higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, because they have to convey the lesson to their peers.
Another example of cooperative learning is simply stopping a lesson at any given point, having students break into groups, and share discussions among each of them. They can formulate questions that remain unanswered, clarify one another’s assumptions, or elaborate on topics that one member might have found confusing. This type of group environment can be applied to nearly any lesson, whether it is brain teasers in a math class, word puzzles in a spelling lesson, or long-term projects in a social studies or science class.