Monday, July 15, 2013

Kagan Training Day 1

I went to the first day of my Kagan training today and I have to say it is wonderful! It is also slightly overwhelming because there are so many different strutters you can use. 

The basis of the Kagan model is cooperative learning to engage students with content. There are many structures (strategies) to engage students and we learned about 10 today.

I will not bore you with all the information I'll just tell you the two best things I took away from today!

I won free team table mats to help with cooperative learning at tables! I feel so lucky! I never win at events and I was the first one to win with a conference room full of people! 

These team mats are going to help me seat my kids next year. Notice the team mats are organized by number, letter, and color. This is so kids can have a face to face partner and a shoulder partner. The face partner will be high and high medium and low and low medium. The shoulder partners will be high and low medium and high medium and low. This way the should all be able to feel they can achieve and not be placed with someone far below/above their own level.

This is how a I will sort my students.

1. I will make cards with their name, gender, test score. (Birthdays could also be added for the beginning of the year.) 
2. I will sort all the cards into piles: high, high medium, low medium, and low.
3. I will sort a high, high medium, low medium, and low at a table together.
You'll have to carefully consider students with special needs, behavior problems, and personalities. 
4. Switch teams every 6 weeks and note which team they have previously been on.

The benefits are that everyone participates and teams of four can work in pairs.
If you don't have even numbers and you have 1 extra student add them to make a table of 5. If you have 2 extra students make a group of 3 and the same thing with 3 extra students.

Soo excited to sort my kids this way next year! I know it will be a challenge at the beginning of the school year but I really want to give it a try with their last years test scores and see how it goes.

My second take away from the day was Mix-Pair-Share which helps with class building. The class mixes around the room until the teacher calls or signals pair. Then the students find a partner to talk about the teacher's question. This could be a really fun get to know you activity or a way to discuss content.

We tried it out today in the workshop (you have to try everything out which is fun,interactive,and help me learn better). 
Steps: Teacher ask the students a question.
1. Teacher plays music and students silently mix around the room.
2. Teacher stops the music or calls pair.
3. Student will pair up the person CLOSET to them and high five them. If they haven't found a partner they raise their hand to find someone. At this point the class can have a group of 3 if there are an odd amount of students.
4. The teacher asks the questions and gives think time for at least 3-5 seconds.
5. Students share with their partner! 
2 ways to share: 
1. Time Pair Share- this is for open ended lengthy questions like "How do you feel the main character and you are alike or not alike? Why?"  30 seconds should be allowed for each partner to answer.
2. Rally Robin- this is for verbal list such as "Name animals that like in the ocean." the student go back and forth with answers for 60 seconds.

I love this training so far and I'm looking forward to implementing these strategies and some others to help my student participate and engage in their learning even more this year! 

Tomorrow I need to take home my book and binder because I had so many notes! By no means am I an expert but if you have any questions feel free to ask or go to their website!

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  1. Congratulations on the mats. May you win more at your conference!

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