Have you ever had a divine, glorious, light-coming- down- from -the- heavens moment? One that says, “YES! They finally get it!” A recent student conversation was music to my ears:
Ansley (before I could respond to Tahra): “I saw that word in a book I was reading today. I can get it and show it to you.” Ansley goes directly to the book and brings it back. Opens it right to the page and points out the word “children”.
Tahra: “Thanks, Ansley. That was helpful.” Such nice manners!
What!? This conversation was awesome on many levels but I was truly delighted they worked together and solved a problem without me!
Cooperative learning creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning. It also develops social skills and higher order thinking skills. Creating an environment where cooperative learning takes place all throughout the day is important. It builds student confidence knowing they aren’t alone. Using iPads, students are constantly teaching each other (and me!) how to do something. This sharing of information and exploration is seamless as we move throughout the day.
Tahra and Ansley reversed roles a little later. Ansley thought of some ideas for her blog posts and wanted to write them down. Tahra showed her how to make a list in the Notes app on her iPad. The children enjoy helping each other. Problem solving skills are also being reinforced, not to mention my name is called a few times less each day. They are learning to “ask the experts” in the classroom.
John Lennon was right. We all need some help from our friends. I know I do and I have 26 little friends who are there when needed!