When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Cooperative Learning Model of Teaching.
One example of a cooperative learning procedure for the Judaic classroom is Think-Pair-Share (*Lyman, 1981, 1992). A description of this cooperative procedure and a sample application for the Judaic classroom follows:
Think-Pair-Share: This is a three-step paired cooperative procedure. During step one, each member individually and silently thinks about a question posed by the teacher. During the second step, two members are paired to exchange and discuss their responses. During step three, each member may share his response, his partner’s response, a synthesis or something new with the quad, another quad, or the entire class. Participants always retain the right to pass or not share information. There are many variations including: Think-Write-Pair and Share and Think-Web, Pair-Web and Share.
Sample Applications: (1) Instead of posing a question to the class, the teacher uses Think-Pair-Share. (2) The teacher poses this question to his or her class: Think of your favorite biblical hero or heroine; Pair (discuss) with your partner; Share your answer with the class.
*Lyman, F. (1981). The Responsive Classroom Discussion: The Inclusion of All Students. Mainstreaming Digest. University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Lyman, F (1992). Think-Pair-Share, Thinktrix, and Weird Facts: An Interactive System for Cooperative Thinking. In Enhancing Thinking Through Cooperative Learning. Davidson, N. & Worsham, T. (Editors). NY: Teachers College Press, 169-181.
On the next post we will describe and give a sample application of another cooperative learning procedure, Pairs.