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The Roundrobin Cooperative learning technique (#teachnique) of the month - Mr T Beattie

In this little series we have already looked at two coop learning structures that we can use in our teaching...this is the third coop learning teachnique of the month...have a look back through the twitter for the others.

#Teachnique - a term used to describe an engaging technique that can be used to teach. As previously highlighted (see here) two ways we can implement coop learning are to adopt a structural approach to coop learning or an activity based approach.

The difference between the two would be that we could learn some coop structures that can be used in multiple learning environments or we can create specific cooperative tasks that are only useful for one particular purpose.

Spencer Kagan highlights this as he says 'if a teacher new to co-operative learning learns five activities, he or she might well report back after a week, 'those worked well, but what should I do next week'. If, instead, the teacher learns 5 structures, he or she could meaningfully include co-operative learning in lessons all year to further the academic progress of students in any subject matter.'

SO... in trying to take a structure approach to embedding coop learning, I am trying to frequently share some cooperative learning structures you can use with lots of different classes. Remember, give them a go, tell me how you got on. Feed back your success stories. Feed back your failures. Tell me of structures you value in your teaching.

REMEMBER THIS ONE THING - There are such a variety of structures in cooperative learning because they have different domains of usefulness. Quite simply this means that depending on the learning you want to accomplish in the class, whether that be problem solving, checking for knowledge or memorizing facts, some structures are better than others for that learning.

Coop learning structure three - The Roundrobin series

Roundrobin is a simple turn taking structure. The teacher asks a question or gives a topic for discussion and then each student takes a turn at sharing a response with their group. This circle of chat can be used to share a multitude of different things, from teambuilding questions like your favourite film, to opinions, perspectives and answers. It can go for one round or keep going for as long as the groups in your classroom are engaged. You can also throw in a timer so that each person in the group has to talk for a set time.

So in easy steps...

  1. Form a group, ideally between 2 and 6.
  2. The teacher assigns a topic or question with multiple possible answers and provides think time. E.g In your teams you will roundrobin reasons whether or not you think it is morally right to keep animals in captivity. When I say go you will start with the tallest person in the group and proceed clockwise, first think about your favourite part (10 seconds) GO!
  3. In groups pupils respond orally, each in turn. (As mentioned earlier, this can be a timed activity)

The Roundrobin series - Variations.

The Allrecord.

The Allrecord round robin adds in the extra dimension of writing and recording the responses of each group member. This is a super activity for learning keys skills such as how to summarise. So, this works in the same way as a round robin, however after each pupil speaks, everyone writes down on their own piece of paper a short summary of what that pupil said, including a written summary of their own response.

The Allrecord Consensus

The Allrecord consensus Roundrobin is very like an Allrecord Roundrobin, the only difference is that group members must seek consensus after they share. After each answer or idea is shared, group members put their thumbs up if they agree and their hand flat on the table if they don't. If a group member has disagreed then the group discusses the answer until they reach an agreement or until a new, acceptable answer is proposed. Once a consensus is reached then each member of the group writes down the answer in their own words on their own piece of paper.

So in easy steps...

  1. The teacher asks a question or gives a topic.
  2. One group member suggests an answer.
  3. Students agree or disagree giving a thumbs up or placing hands on table.
  4. Once the team reaches consensus, each student writes the answer in their own words on their own piece of paper.
  5. Repeat as necessary round the group.
  6. (Remember, in an Allrecord round Robin, the steps are the same, the only difference is that no consensus is needed).
As previously shared...I misspelt the word technique, I added an a. It became teachnique. I thought to myself, what a wonderful term for a teaching technique. I am going to try and make this cheddar stick with a hashtag, from now on these teaching techniques will be known as #teachniques.
#teachnique...pure cheese

I hope this has been useful, please let me know if it has by email to ddtbeattie520@glow.sch.uk. If you are already using techniques like this in similar ways also get in touch.

Credits:

Created with images by Tumisu - "team building work" • NeONBRAND - "ready for notes" • Aziz Acharki - "untitled image" • lipefontes0 - "cheese breakfast food cheese cheese cheese cheese"

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