Together We Can Do Great Things

Groups vs Teams:

I really like the quote above! Every student had different strengths and weaknesses. This is why working together is important. What you call people that are working together can make a difference in how they view themselves as a unit. Students called a “group” tend to work separately to fulfill a common goal. Whereas, students called a “team” work together as one unit to complete a common goal. This help students build bonds and the outcome creates a better collaborative assignment.

What is cooperative learning?

Cooperative learning is done when students work together in small teams to improve other members understanding of the topic. This can be done with students at the same or different learning level.

Why is cooperative learning important?

Cooperative learning is important to implement into the classroom because it helps students learn from one another. They are able to use their peers knowledge to advance their own. Plus, students are able to teach others. This is a great learning tool because the best way to learn is to teach others. Cooperative learning also helps students stay engaged in their topic.

Types of cooperative learning:

  1. STAD
    1. The teacher lectures on a topic
    2. The students get into teams
    3. The teams work together to learn and understand the material
    4. They make a presentation on the topic
    5. The students are given an individual quiz so that the teacher can see if they have mastered the topic
    6. The students and the teams are given an individual improvement score to track their progress
  2. Jigsaw II
    1. The students get into teams
    2. They have a topic that is specific to their team
    3. Each student within a team is given a sub-topic to work on
    4. A student researches their sub-topic
    5. Each student presents what they have learned to the other team members
    6. The team discusses their findings
  3. Co-op Co-op
    1. The teacher introduces a topic to the students
    2. The class discusses this topic
    3. The students find their own interest within the topic
    4. The students get into teams based on their interests
    5. The team breaks down further to research a sub-topic
    6. The smaller team tells the team about their findings
    7. The team gives a presentation on their topic to the whole class
    8. The students are evaluated on their work and they evaluate their peers
  4. Group Investigation
    1. Teams are made based on the students learning abilities
    2. The class create goals for themselves and a plan for how they will go about their learning
    3. They proceed through the plan with different activities to help them learm
    4. The students analyze what they have learned and summarize the information
    5. They present the information to the class
    6. The students are evaluated individually and as a group
  5. Guided Reciprocal Peer Questioning
    1. The teacher gives a lecture on the topic
    2. The students get guided questions to get them thinking about the topic
    3. The students finish making their questions based on the guide
    4. They do not need to know the answers to the questions
    5. The students will brake up into teams to discuss the questions and possibly find answers

Great chart of engagement strategies by The Groovy Teacher!

(image from Pinterest)


Overall, I think cooperative learning is a good way for students to stay engaged in the learning. They are able to work together to find an answer. They form bonds with their peers. They are also able to teach one another. All of these things should be implemented into the classroom to make the learning beneficial to everyone!


  1. Katin,
    I really enjoyed that quote at the beginning, as well. It does a good job of summing up the importance of teamwork. Each individual in the team brings a unique set of skills and understanding that the others may not have. Using them together to create something bigger than themselves is what allows for greatness to be achieved. Another thing I enjoyed about your post was the graphic about engagement strategies. It did a good job of complimenting the section about the different methods of cooperative learning. One thing I would have liked to see was a real world example in which you had experienced some type of cooperative learning. Examples really allow all of the words to be more concrete and allow the reader to connect to the post on a more personal level. Overall, I really enjoyed your post!

    • Billy,

      Thank you for your comment! I agree that having a real world example is a good way to make the content more concrete and allow the readers to connect with me. One example of cooperative learning that I have experienced was in my tribe class. Last year we were learning the Miami language and for our final we had to come up with a story within our teams. All of the members were at different ability levels and brought different information to the table. We worked on a story in together to come up with finished product. Then we had to translate it into Myaamia and rehearse it. It was something that we had never done before and we had to work together to be able to tell our story to our classmates. Cooperative learning came into play a lot during this project.


  2. Katin,
    Both of our blogs actually have two of the same graphics which I think is awesome since it shows that we made some of the same connections with images we found online. I thought that the “five elements” image is a great graphic to sum up the main components of cooperative learning after you introduced them. The engagement strategies chart is awesome. I love how it shows more methods than we discussed in class and more interactive activities that can be incorporated into the teamwork. Some science examples or lesson plans would be interesting to see for more specific examples.

    • Hayley,

      I will have to go back and look at your blog! I agree that having some of the same graphics shows that we had similar though processes. I tried to build on my knowledge of cooperative learning and teamwork, so I found those charts helpful! I will think about incorporating some science examples and lesson plans to help make some more connections. Thanks for the advice!


  3. Katin, I think your quote at the beginning shows what cooperative learning is and how important it is with such simplicity. That quote is the basis of why cooperative learning is so important. Each student, each person in the classroom has information that the others do not. The idea of cooperative learning is that it is almost necessary for each student to share that special information with the rest of the class. That information can be a form of thought, ideas, ways of attacking a question, or simply a different way to rearrange something. Either way when we look at something differently than we normally would, we grow. Growth is necessary in the classroom and it is expedited when each student understands their responsibility to share their knowledge in the classroom and participate in cooperative learning.

    • Tom,

      Thanks for your comment. I like how you mentioned that each student brings something new to the table and that it can come in many forms. I think that one students idea can be a catalyst for other students. I also think it is important for students to get to know each other before working in a team. They are more likely to share their thoughts with the team if they feel comfortable. All of these things are important aspects of cooperative learning.


  4. I really like the read and it is always nice to educate others with the types of cooperative learning. One challenge I have found in the classroom is trying to figure out, before the lesson, whether to group heterogeneously or homogeneously based on student academic level. As someone who is still in the stage of learning, have you guys spent anytime in addressing when each of these grouping strategies may work best?

    • Ryan,

      Thanks for your comment! I hope you enjoyed my blog post. Although all of the different types of cooperative learning strategies have their place on the classroom, we have talked about which strategies would work best. I think co-op co-op and group investigation would work best in most situations. They do the best to work together as a team and use each others knowledge to grow. Plus they have a lot of flexibility so that the students can do what they are interested in. I hope this helps.


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