Find the fiction? Cooperative learning technique (#teachnique) of the month - Mr T Beattie

#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 two - Find-the-Fiction

Find the fiction is used to build and review knowledge, you can use it to develop thinking skills and away from specific curricular content it can be used to develop social skills and teambuilding.

So in easy steps...

  1. Form a group, ideally between 2 and 6, they might have numbers from 1 to how ever many is in the group, however this isn't always necessary see point 3!
  2. Each student writes three statements, two of these statements are true and one has to be false.
  3. Students will then take turns in sharing their statements with their teammates. (Rather than giving them numbers I usually start the activity with 'whoever got up the earliest this morning start and move clockwise from there.)
  4. Teammates try to identify the fictitious statement, by themselves as a sub team, however you wish. Then simply rotate and repeat
  5. To develop thinking skills you could try to encourage students to have a fictitious statement that is very close to the truth, the teammates must then identify the false statement but also explain why it is false and what might have to be changed to make it correct...I like this option.
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.


Created with images by Tumisu - "team building work" • geralt - "truth lie street sign" • lipefontes0 - "cheese breakfast food cheese cheese cheese cheese"

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