Kagan Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning Structures

Veterans Elementary teachers have had over 3 years of training in Kagan Cooperative Learning. Teachers have learned many structures which can be used in our class meetings, team building and content areas to improve the level of student interactions.

These structures help teachers to...

  • increase the amount of active participation and learning within the classroom.
  • ensure that all pupils get a turn to contribute in the classroom.
  • reduce the amount of time children spend waiting to share their thoughts and ideas.
  • assess inpidual needs of inpidual pupils quickly and efficiently.
  • build co-operative classrooms and teams who value working together to achieve more.

The structures also help our pupils to...

  • develop valuable social skills such as; patience, turn-taking and active listening.
  • learn to work as part of a team.
  • contribute their ideas, whilst respecting the ideas of others.
  • evaluate their own learning.
  • help each other to learn better.
  • improve memory and recall.
  • develop co-operative roles that will be useful in later life, e.g. reporter, reviewer, instructor, motivator etc.

Teachers are using the structures daily, including Timed-Pair-Share, Stand Up - Hand Up - Pair Up, Jot Thoughts, Fan-and-Pick, Find the Fiction, Rally Robin and more.

A brief description of each Kagan cooperative learning structures:

  1. Fan-N-Pick- Students play a card game to respond to questions.
  2. Rally Robin - In pairs, students alternate generating oral responses.
  3. Stand up, Hand-up, Pair up - Students stand up, put their hands up, and quickly find a partner.
  4. Timed Pair Share - In pairs, students share with a partner for a predetermined time while the partners listen carefully. Then the partners switch roles.

Kagan Coaching

Three teachers from our building, Mrs. Blaine, Mrs. Shemwell and Mrs. Barnes are Kagan Coaches. This "coaching" allows us to provide immediate feedback to teachers when using the structures. This also allows us to have some in-house Professional Development to support our teachers as they continue to try new structures.

For our first year of instituting Kagan Coaching, we have focused on 2 structures - Timed-Pair-Share and Jot Thoughts. We have reviewed the steps from when we were trained from our Kagan in-service days. Then we have used the structures at our faculty meetings in different discussion topics, so we feel comfortable with the steps. Finally the Kagan coaches go to each teacher's classroom and "coach" them right there in the moment of using a Cooperative Learning structure with their own students. This coaching provides immediate feedback for teachers and also gives them ideas for other content areas they could use that same structure.

For our second year, we have focused on three structures - Rally Coach, Talking Chips and Fan N Pick.

For our third year, we have focused on Inside/Outside Circle and Round Robin and for our last coaching, we will allow teachers to choose from one of the previously coached structures from the past three years.

Check out Kagan Cooperative Learning!


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