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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Application of the Cooperative Model of Teaching with a Lesson on Israel

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.

Now let’s insert into the six-step Cooperative Learning Model of Teaching template a lesson on Israel.

The Six Steps of the Cooperative Learning Model of Teaching

Enduring Jewish Knowledge: Knowledge about Israel

Content: An assessment of the facts that students know about the state of Israel

Cooperative Learning Procedure:

*Rally Round



Teacher and/or Student Behavior


Get students ready to learn, and clarify the objective/s

· Teacher gets the students ready to learn and says, “Let’s find out how many facts you know about the State of Israel.”

· Teacher identifies the objective/s for the lesson and says, “Today we are going to prove that you really know more about the State of Israel than you might have ever imagined.”


Present information

· Teacher presents this challenge, “I believe that you know a lot about Israel. In fact, I believe that you know about the geography, history, music, religions, art, and much more.”


Organize students into learning teams

· Teacher places students into learning pairs and says, “Spend a moment to think about all the facts that you individually know about Israel, and record those facts in your notebook. After a minute you will share one item from your list with your learning partner. Select one person to speak first, and let him share one fact from his list. If you, the learning partner, have that fact on your list, place a check next to it. If you don’t have that fact on your list, add it to your list. Then reverse the process. You share one fact, and your partner either checks it off, or adds that fact to his list. Please do not discuss the facts on your lists. Just record them. We will discuss whether your facts about Israel are correct later. Who can explain what you are about to do?” After the teacher is certain that her students understand this cooperative procedure called Rally Round, she invites the students to proceed.


Assist team work

· Teacher monitors the work and interactions of the learning pairs.


Students demonstrate content mastery

· The teacher invites each student in the class to share one fact from his or her list. If a statement by a student is incorrect, the teacher or a student can challenge that fact. Each student is encouraged to create a master list of all the facts that the class knows about Israel.



Provide recognition

· After recording all the facts that the students have generated, the teacher concludes the lesson by saying, “At the beginning of this lesson I said you know more facts about Israel than you had ever imagined. Well, you should be proud of how much you know about Israel, and later in the week I’m going to ask you what other information you’d like to learn about Israel.”

*Rally Round is a cooperative procedure that can be found in Kagan, S. & Kagan, M. (2009). Kagan Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing, .

On the next post we will share excerpts of an article, Cooperative Learning: Research and Implementation for Jewish Education, that Neil Davidson and I wrote.

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