Kagan Summer Training Summary

Sunday, July 19, 2015
Feels good to be home! I've been in Orlando for a week, training on how to be teacher "c."  If you're wondering what that is, it's a term used in Kagan Cooperative Learning to describe a teacher that understands the difference between group work and cooperative work. The training was a lot to process, and I'm still unsure how much I retained from it but I'm going to quickly "brain dump" for a second on what I'm for sure going to implement.

Some goodies from the Kagan Sumer Academy.
Lets face it, a lot of times when you go to a PD there's always a chance you're going to think "just how am I going to implement this when I've got <9000 things I've got to get done in a day." For the first time, I have to disagree a bit on that one!

This training had some good things that I'm positive I can implement without really disrupting the flow for me. Also, I think I'm going to start small and implement some things first and then add more as I continue with using Kagan strategies.

Three strategies I plan on using in the classroom this upcoming fall:

  • Team Forming - didn't I mention somewhere that I was going to work on this?
  • Cheers & Celebrations - creating a safe environment for successes and for learning opportunities
  • C3B4ME - "See 3 others (table partners) before asking me!"
How to form teams using the Kagan method.
C3B4ME rules.

Three Action Plan items  I'm going to focus on this upcoming fall:
  • Teams - creating teams for success
  • Modeling Instructions - the teacher is the best model for structures, then have students model for the class, and students will understand directions better
  • Coaching - having students learn how to appropriately and effectively coach one another
    (i.e. "the answers on the board, look there" vs. "lets look at how you solved that problem step by step.")
The right way to model instructions.
I left Orlando with this ingrained in my brain: Kagan is all about teaching social skills alongside your academic curriculum. Since my school currently uses the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Curriculum (SEL), having them practice using these social skills introduced by SEL would be awesome! It would have students practicing these skills throughout the day ... is anyone thinking about those social-emotional goals/ progress monitoring?! It's going to be super easy to teach and monitor them!
The massive list of social skills taught and used
in all the Kagan structures.
One problem I see arising? Students who are working on significantly modified assignments or are reading are significantly lower levels. Our school is still working on the environment, especially in the middle school. I still have students who are understanding why students receive different things and respecting each others learning styles/ abilities.

I know coaching them and teaching them how to work in these environments will really break that barrier, but I'm not sure at the same time. Will students be comfortable? How about the students who are really shy? Will they open up more or shut down because they don't want other students knowing?


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