Since my new placement started a week ago, I am happy to have the new grading period introduced to the students. Math lessons tend to be structured in a way that allows for more hands-on learning than other curriculum areas. A tool I have found particularly useful in teaching math is cooperative and collaborative learning.
As collaborative learning is a method of teaching and learning in which students’ team together to explore a significant question or create a solution through collaboration, it seems to follow that this model is the perfect fit for math discovery which was essential in the K12 curriculum. Based on observation, I have found that students really benefit from and enjoy working together in small groups on a structured activity. They take this type of learning seriously and work hard to achieve as a group. During our lessons last week, I walked around the room stopping to visit and work with each group I saw so much evidence of teamwork and students were fully engaged in helping their peers. I also saw how students have great times while learning.
The students seem to understand that they are individually accountable for their own work, and the work of the group as a whole, which I believe is a valuable life lesson. I also like the fact that cooperative groups work face-to-face and learn to work as a team which mimics the adult work environment better than the standard whole group model. This would really help me build proper introduction to my classes and I would make sure that this will be an effective way to retain lessons longer in my student’s minds.