More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
Adventures in Cooperative Learning
My students need 6 conference tables (in leiu of traditional desks) to facilitate cooperative learning projects.
Cooperative learning is meant to teach students initiative and self-reliance. Ideally, they should look to their peers for assistance while working towards a common goal. Bill Gates said, "Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well motivated individual."
We are a public high school in Tennessee with 73% economically disadvantaged enrollment.
As an "Optional School" with a focus on International Studies, we boast a large number of Honors and AP courses. However, in spite of our rigorous course offerings we suffer from a college readiness index of 5.1%.
Much of our faculty has already begun conforming to the new Common Core standards, thereby fostering higher-order thinking skills and creativity among students. We are excited about the blossoming social and academic skills we are witnessing! According to www.tncore.org, the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening contends that "(to) build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must have ample opportunities to take part in a variety of rich, structured conversations as part of a whole class, in small groups, and with a partner." It stands to reason that traditional rows of desks are NOT conducive to such collaboration.
Having six groups of six seated around tables -- rather than in pre-arranged rows -- will allow students to develop leadership, decision-making, trust-building, and communication skills. Students should eventually learn to teach themselves and each other while becoming increasingly less dependent on their teacher for help. The ultimate goal of any teacher is to produce socially confident lifelong learners. In groups, students will engage in discussions, do pair work and group work, play competitive games to reinforce vocabulary and grammar concepts, tutor one another and -- perhaps most importantly -- conduct inquiry-based research.
The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher revealed that 94% of Fortune 1000 executives find the ability to work in groups "absolutely essential." Your donation to this project will foster both independence and positive interdependence among economically disadvantaged students.
They will learn the skills necessary to become academically and professionally successful.
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