Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Is Kagan's Cooperative Learning Structures?

Three-Part Lesson


A lesson consists of 3 parts; Starter, Main Activities and Plenary.
Below are some notes on the two parts which teachers tend to overlook or miss.

LESSON STARTER ACTIVITIES

A strong start to a lesson ensures the ship will be steered in the right direction

Starter
Starter activity to engage students Sharing Learning Objectives Linking to prior knowledge     Sharing Success Criteria
Main Activities
Main Learning episodes
More than one activity

Plenary
Students reflect on their learning
Students set their next steps


What is a Starter Activity and when do I use it?
A starter activitiy is a short activity that comes at the beginning of the lesson to capture students’ interest, right before the actual key activities begin.
Why is a starter activity important?
When students enter into a classroom, they want to feel excitement toward their learning. As a teacher, you have the power to engage and empower them in their learning.
Having a pre-cursor activity before actual lesson begins, not only sets the direction of the lesson, it also establishes the learning context for students, and therefore the success for the remainder of the lesson.

An effective starter activity is important because it:
·         Gains students’ attention
·         Encourages recall of prior knowledge
·         Sets the pace and challenge of the lesson
·         Motivates with early success
·         Creates the expectation that students will think and participate

TIPS
·         Ideally, a starter should take no longer than 5 minutes
·         Remember to vary your activities each time




LESSON PLENARY ACTIVITIES

What is a plenary activity and when do we use it?
A plenary activity is a short activity that comes right at the end of the lesson after all key components have been taught, to wind up a lesson successfully and effectively.

Starter
Starter activity to engage students Sharing Learning Objectives Linking to prior knowledge     Sharing Success Criteria
Main Activities
Main Learning episodes
More than one activity

Plenary
Students reflect on their learning
Students set their next steps


Why is a plenary activity important?
Just as a starter activity ensures a strong start to a lesson, a plenary activity ensures the solid ending to a lesson.

An effective plenary activity is important because it:
·         Gives students time to check their learning success
·         Allows students to leave class with a shared message of success
·         Enables the teacher to assess the effectiveness of the learning and the next steps to take

TIPS
·         Ideally, a plenary should take no longer than 5 minutes
·         Plan to fit a plenary activity into your lesson, as it is often forgotten due to time constraints
·         Remember to vary your activities each time

Learning Objectives and Success Criteria

If learners are to take more responsibility for their learning, then they need to know:
·         What they are going to learn
·         Why they should learn it in the first place
·         They will recognise when they have succeeded.
Identifying what the students need to learn and sharing the objectives with the students is essential. How can students learn effectively if they do not know what it is they are learning?
Writing Learning Objectives: a simple 3- step model
¢  Step 1 : Create a stem
            By the end of the lesson you will be able to:
¢  Step 2 : add a verb – an active verb
            E.g. “ use, write “
¢  Step 3 : Determine the actual knowledge /skills/outcome
            E.g. “ use negative verbs “
Ø  By the end of the lesson you will be able to use negative verbs.
Make sure the learning objective is specific and is a skill not an activity.
      X    We are learning to do crossword.     
ü  We are learning vocabulary related to the novel (by doing a crossword.)         
Success Criteria tell students when they have achieved success. They show the learning and thinking strategies required for success.
Writing success criteria: a simple 3- step model
¢  Step 1 : Create a stem
            Success Criteria: I can ……….
¢  Step 2 : add a verb – an active verb
Recognize, respond, add
¢  Step 3 : Determine the evidence of success ( end product / performance )
·         Recognize the verb in a sentence
·         Add the word “not” after the verb in a sentence
·         Respond to questions using negative verbs
 Sharing Learning Objectives and Success Criteria
Learning objectives and success criteria are only useful to the students if they are shared. You should:
·         Use students friendly language
·         Display them on the board and share them verbally

·         Check the success with the students during and at the end of the lesson

" Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance,
 you must keep  moving. "

Albert Einstein