When I become a teacher I plan to have my students work in cooperative groups because this allows them a chance to share their knowledge and ideas with their peers. Due to the fact that most students are on different developmental levels, those students who are of higher developmental levels can provide the other students with their ideas and perception of their knowledge. I feel that teachers should not be scared to let their students participate in group work because I think it is a great method of learning.
Belair Elementary School has four hundred twenty-five students, of those students forty-four have IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) or 10.3 percent. One instructional strategy that I could implement for these students is that of small group work. Small group work has many benefits such as the students will receive support from others in the group. So they are not just doing independent work but learning from others and interacting with others. Also, group work focuses on specific skills of those students. With that I could match instruction to each students’ needs and have them work with students who will help them learn. The teacher can place students in specific groups based on their specific groups so they will learn from the group and
Students are self initiating their own work while working in groups which relates to Kohn’s Student Directed Theory of Learning. Kohn’s theory focuses on engaging students in learning by making learning fun and interesting and having the students guide their own learning. Although, I would have clear guidelines for working in groups such as having a role for each group member and having four people in each group, the students are then able
In my opinion, group work does not work. In group work, students are put together and expected to plan how they will work together to learn. For example, the teacher may say to the students “Discuss it as a group” or “Talk it over.” The issue, however, is that some students may do all the work whereas some students may do little to no work. Essentially, group work doesn’t work because it lacks structure, doesn’t guarantee individual accountability, and fails to ensure that students will work together effectively. As a consequence, achievement gains are not seen by all students, social skills are not facilitated since participation is not equalized and student interaction is not encouraged, and only a few students are actively engaged at once.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “How am I going to get all this work done by myself?” Well, we definitely have! This is why we agree that working in groups is the way to go. It has many great effects on students and teachers. Which means everyone gains from group work.
Teams; students will be in heterogeneous teams of four where teammates are of mixed gender, race, ethnicity, and achievement levels. On each team, there will be one high, one low, and two medium achievers. If there are extra students, teams may consist of three or five teammates.
I chose to arrange my students’ desks in clusters of four, so that my students will be able to interact on specific assignments and group activities daily. I will not have four random students in each group, but rather place a high, low, low medium, and high medium learning ability student in each cluster. This will allow me to sometimes pair two lows or two highs or a high and a low together. This will be an advantage for all students because the highs will be able to assist the lows by demonstrating what needs to be done, while they are helping themselves from understanding concepts in a more intellectual way because they will be explaining them to others. These clusters are placed in the center of the room so
This information will be used to help me decide how to group my students for small group sessions, group work, and remediation. It will also help me to know which students need help in order to grow academically and which students to challenge to ensure that they continue learning and excelling.
Once students are grouped, they generally stay at that level for their school careers, and the gap between achievement and levels becomes exaggerated over time. The notion that students' achievement levels at any given time will predict their achievement in the future becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (Slavin, 1990). Wheelock doesn't dismiss all forms of ability grouping. For example, a group might be set up within a class to help students who are having difficulty with a specific skill, or a group might be formed to "pre-teach" a skill to a group of students who might have difficulty grasping a concept.
I would pair up students both heterogeneously and homogeneously throughout the entire process of the unit. I may set up groups with similar interests (homogeneously) at first and get them to come up with a number of questions and have they answer them. After they have discovered and uncovered many of their questions I would move the groups into a group that came up with different questions and found answers to them. I would heterogeneous groups of students come together to share what questions they answered and as a new group they would ask others more questions that they had about their discoveries. They would then work together to come together to present to the heterogeneous, diverse class some of their exciting discoveries, and then I would also allow for a
For instructional strategies used for specific groups, I decided to place students into groups based on their ability level, and then partners based on behaviors. Group One was chosen with the intention of being a Special Education Student group only, however two other students had to be added to the group due to low scores on pre-assessments. The students, in Group One, were further divided into groups of three (because there were nine students). Students were placed in these groups of three based on positive behaviors that students had shown one another. Group Two was chosen with the intention of being students who understood the material, but were still having difficulty arriving to the correct answer or using the correct steps. Their partner
Some researchers have shown a disadvantage in group work with student learning. Lower achieving students could fall behind due to their passive nature or lack of confidence (King, 1993). If the high achieving students dominate the group and discussions, the lower achieving students may not feel comfortable sharing in the discussion. In this instance, the learning opportunity could pass them by without anyone realizing the lack of understanding. Other shortcomings of cooperative learning is the time required for some groups to work cohesively and the inability to teach the curriculum in a small group Cooperative Learning setting (Good, Reys, Grouws, & Mulryan, (1989;1990).
Other researchers have shown a disadvantage in group work with regard to teaching students. Slow learning students may lag behind due to their passive nature or lack of confidence (King, 1993). When the quick learning students dominate the group and discussions, the lower achieving students may not feel open and free to contributing in the discussion. In this case, the learning opportunity could pass them by without anyone noticing the lack of understanding. Other limitations of cooperative learning is the time required for some groups to work in unity and unable to teach the curriculum in a small group Cooperative Learning setting (Good, Reys, Grouws, & Mulryan, (1989;1990).
To effect this, what is needed is an awareness of the psychological factors of the students. This can be achieved through an open discussion with the students, especially in challenging times. Learning disabilities must also be factored in. Individual differences of the students should also be considered in group learning sessions and general lectures. Individual supports should be put in place to support students and assist in avoidance of negative results, which could lead to discouragement. All of the above strategies would raise the level of student. This can be achieved through effective communication, studying individual personalities, and conducting ongoing individual conferencing with the students. This will lead to a general picture about the student and how best to deal with each student, as per their personalities. Assigning groups by learning style would help achieve the best learning performance and fulfill the ideal outcome of the entire learning process.