Cooperative Learning can be a very effective teaching strategy that is essential for growth and development. But it is important to note the basics for setting up a successful cooperative learning environment for children by providing help, feedback, and clear instructions. It is not enough to have students collaborating on a project. Guidance and set up are essential pieces of the puzzle that can not be overlooked.
Incorporating cooperative learning strategies into the early childhood and elementary classrooms help to keep students motivated, learn in new and engaging ways and increases their awareness of other students. By working with other children, they will gain peer support and learn to grow as individuals, increasing independence and self-assurance.
A brief overview of the definition, importance, and techniques for cooperative learning in elementary school is discussed. Provided in this source are different ways for teachers to effectively carry out cooperative learning techniques, and how to encourage a healthy working environment where all students feel heard, understood, and comfortable with the assignment. Many examples are given to try out cooperative learning strategies in your classroom.
When placing students in groups for CL, it is important to mix groups based on ability levels. Students in a mixed group setting will have all different strengths, helping them to work better together and achieve optimal success. Each student may be skilled at different aspects of the project, including gathering information, drawing, writing neatly, and public speaking. By allowing students to find their strengths within their groups it will help them to work together more effectively.
Relating Cooperative Learning to teachers and colleagues, this video helps to highlight the importance and success of collaboration. It explains the interdependence and independence gained by being a part of a team. Students love cooperative learning not only because it is fun and engaging, but because it promotes critical thinking, better retention, a sense of togetherness--noting that the success of one student depends upon the determination and responsiveness of the entire team.