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 Round Table. A description of this cooperative procedure and a sample application for the Judaic classroom follows:
Round Table (*Spencer and Miguel Kagan, 2009): Each quad (i.e. cooperative group of four students) is given one sheet of paper on which to record different responses to a question posed by the teacher. Each quad member is invited to write one new response to the teacher’s question on the quad’s paper. The paper is then passed around the quad in clock-wise or counter-clock-wise fashion. A student who does not have a novel response says, “I pass” and then hands the paper to the next student. The paper may be passed around the quad several times. A more sophisticated form of Round Table has students passing around four sheets of paper with each paper posing a different question.
Sample Application: Generate a list of prophets in the Tanach.
*Kagan, S. & Kagan, M. (2009). Kagan Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing, www.KaganOnline.com .
On the next post we will describe and give a sample application of another cooperative learning procedure, Numbered Heads Together.