Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites {Chapter 13}

Hope you're loving the book study so far! 
We did a little chapter swapping, so I'll be hosting Chapter 13 over here today!! 

Today we're chatting about Cooperative Learning and Reciprocal Teaching.  The first thing that jumped out at me in this chapter was this quote. 

"Students learn 95% of what they teach to others."

95%...!!? That's BIG!!!

So why is this strategy so effective? Humans are social beings.  We like to talk ya'll!!! We're teachers so I know I'm preaching to the choir here. ;) 

But the key is to set our students up with opportunities to actively discuss content with each other. Give them chances to put into their own words what they have learned and even teach it to a classmate. The above picture was one of those precious random moments where I caught two of my kiddos doing exactly that. The little girl on the right is teaching her pal on the left one of the subtraction strategies we had worked on in class using our whole group number line. Talk about a happy teacher heart!!! Admittedly, I didn't set up this moment. Which in some ways makes it even sweeter. But Marcia's point in this chapter is, as teachers we NEED to be facilitating these moments regularly in our classroom, because they're valuable! 

Something I learned about myself while reading this chapter, pairs are my go to. There is something safe to me about a pair. I do tons of partner pair ups, but anything that involves more than two working in a group that is not directly supervised by an adult makes my inner control freak a little nervous. So one of my goals after reading this chapter is more ways to incorporate group activities where students need to work together to complete a task. Luckily, before I got too down on myself, Marcia said this: 

"However, even periodically, stopping during class time and having students re-teach what they are learning to a student sitting nearby is time well spent!"

Here are a few examples of ways I've made this work in my classroom...

1. Have students briefly engage with multiple classmates (non-ability groupings) 

Left: Inside Outside Circle - Students sit facing each other in a circle. After sharing with their partner the outside circle moves one spot to the left and re-share with their new partner. Repeat. 

Right: Hand Pair Share -You can read my whole post about this activity, here.

**BONUS: The two above activities also incorporate Strategy 10: MOVEMENT**

2. Math Stations: During Math Stations students work together in pairs or groups of 3 at hands on math tubs. When students get "stuck" they turn to each other for help and clarification! Stations are short (10-12 minutes) so they have little time to get off task and their conversations are centered around the task at hand. 

3. Partner Reading Buddies: I especially like to give these guys plenty of opportunity to share favorite facts and re-read important vocabulary together during our non-fiction studies. These are clips from when we studied Spiders in October and Penguins in January.


4. Students as Teachers: After math partners had a chance to talk with each other about the 'counting on' addition strategy, I called on a few kiddos to come up to the board and share their thinking/re-teach the strategy to the class before we ended this whole group portion of our lesson. 

I'm eager to add more ideas to my tool belt on this one!! Can't wait to read what you all have to say in your posts and comments!
Here are the ladies you'll be visiting for the remaining chapters:

KinderGals Chapter 14 &15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin' it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)

It's not to late to jump on board!! Even if you just want to keep the conversation rolling over in the comments. Our goal is to keep chatting about these research based best practices and continue learning from each other, just like we learned about in this chapter!!! :)

Your turn. Link it on up down below!