Thursday, September 01, 2016

Kagan Cooperative Learning

Kagan Cooperative Learning is vibrant in our country…every teacher is Kagan trained. In July, three Kagan trainer came to our vicinity, to teach all of the new hires about cooperative learning, and it was awesome. From learning new chants and cheers to awesome ideas for getting my kids up and about, I’m in love.

Kagan is all about cooperative learning,
  team work – with frequent modeling, celebrations, community building, and brain breaks…sounds fun, right? Kagan structures hold every student accountable and eliminate ‘hoggers’ and ‘loggers’(I was forever logger during my schooldays)  in the learning process

 You know today in my classroom, students are not seated in rows, they are not asked to be quiet, to keep their eyes on their work – just the opposite. For proponents of alternative teaching styles, Kagan has become one of the most revolutionary learning strategies in Bhutan.
In fact, I am a brand new secondary teacher, trying out the simple strategies I picked up from a PD this past year that was called "Kagan's Cooperative Learning Structures." Ever since the PD, I had been dying to try it out in my own classroom. I'm currently teaching all the sections,( VII(Science&NIIT), VIIIAB(NIIT), IXAB(EScience), XBC(EScience) and Class III( SUPW)… so I have finally been able to test it all out before September rolls around. I can tell you from firsthand experience as a NEWBIE that these simple strategies change the game. I surely wish I knew about them when I started my first year because it would have made my lessons more engaging while also keeping my classroom highly structured. However, Bhutanese course outline being vast it will be difficult for teachers to cover the syllabus on time. I highly recommend curriculum driver to streamline the syllabus, to promote our 21st century teaching pedagogy efficiently.

You know planning out the seating arrangement comes first. It's always a challenging jigsaw to figure out your seating arrangement, especially once you get to know the students. But let me start out by saying that you don't need to know the students when you arrange your desks. Before the students' first day, I followed Kagan's structure by putting the desks in groups of 9. He recommends even numbers (4 memebers in a group).  Since I have 44 kiddos, and my classroom seems congested. I have 6 groups of 5, and  5 groups of 4 members  and it is working out just fine.  Number 1(A) and 4(B)should be away from teacher and number 2(B) and 3(A) should be near the board.
The seating structure allows you to do all sorts of tasks and activities in an organized fashion. You could use it to your own advantage by assigning simple jobs. "All 1's do prepare for answer." "All 3's please collect your group's notebooks and bring them to my desk." The real purpose of the structure is to ensure engagement for all students. So for example, during a Timed Pair Share, you'd say something like "A's, you will start the conversation during this first round. Tell your shoulder partner what you did this weekend. B's will share out. You have 30 seconds…go!" Then you'd switch. Sometimes I also like to have students check on each other. "A's high five your face partner if they are listening." Or I'll do a quick attention grabber during a transition "all 3's touch your nose," all B's pat your head." It's so simple and straightforward, but it will keep everyone on their toes.
I just threw few  information at you, but  I encourage you to learn more
about Kagan. I use it every day, several times every class period and it has
totally changed the way I teach. 

"I am a passionate teacher :P of middle school students. I teach chemistry n IT. I am on mission to change pedagogy to suit today's learners" 

Hapiness is when dream comes true!!!


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