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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kagan Remixed

I am very fortunate to receive numerous opportunities for training in my district, but somehow, Kagan training has always bypassed me. That does not mean I will allow myself to be left out, however. I have grabbed bits and pieces here and there, and I use them in my classroom legally or illegally, gosh darn it! 

My favorite strategy to use is Stand Up - Hand Up - Pair Up. I like for my students to get up and move (because who wants to sit on a hard chair for seven hours a day), plus it gives them a chance to talk to different classmates. I can also incorporate reading,writing, listening, and speaking in one strategy, addressing the needs of my English language learners. 

from Cooperative Learning

For some reason, my eighth graders are not into the Hand Up part of the routine. So I have put my own spins on the strategy:

  • Remix #1: Speed Friending
    • This concept is similar to speed dating. The kids mix-and-mingle, like they would at a social gathering, sharing their work with different students. They have to communicate with three different people and make it "home before curfew." I call curfew two times. The first time, the kids are expected to wrap up and head back to their seats. The second time, they get "threatened" with grounding (and for some reason, they found this highly amusing). 
  • Remix #2: Dah Club
    • We are still doing the same thing, but I set the scene as a dance party. It's easy to turn on some music while kids are moving around. I even pull out some of my corniest dance moves and work the room while the students are engaged in their conversations. I am silly to begin with, so this is not out of character for me in the least. 
The strategy works without any revisions, but my students seem to be enjoying it more in the remixed versions. It's easily modifiable for any age group by simply adding a scene - playground, mall, football game. And secretly, I have ulterior motives to develop an Oscar-winning actor at some point in time. 

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