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  • Writer's pictureMike Ward

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

Updated: Aug 22, 2018

As you may or may not know, this starts the 26th year.  Over these years I have accumulated a number of strategies that are effective, liked by most students, and delivers content in a creative way.  You have seen the Handy-Dandy Handbook and Making Movies Meaningful.  A lot of pride has gone into classroom over the years.

However, after a week of training in Kagan Cooperative Learning, I am excited to start down a new path that will take my students and practices to a new level.  The Kagan approach to cooperative learning will allow me to evolve out of group work and into cooperative learning for the first time in my career.  Not only will it compliment what I am already doing, but it will seamlessly infuse the social skills that our students and the world so desperately need without jeopardizing content.

Four major Kagan concepts will address several areas that I am targeting as my goals this year:

Positive Interdependence 

Individual Accountability 

Equal Participation

Simultaneous Interaction

These elements create a learning environment that prevents students from being able to hide.  I tell you, I was even trying to find a little down time to check my texts or email but there was a partner in my face and I could not let them down.  I like to think of it as a full court press.  It also creates a classroom that is safe and supportive to all learners. 

Have you used a Kagan structure?  Would be very interested to hear how your experience is going.  

Have a great week ahead!  


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