Friday, May 13, 2011

Cooperative Learning: Numbered Heads Together

If you are looking for a way to have students work in small groups, have accountability for participation during a class discussion, and generate oral responses after being given time to think, perhaps you'll be interested in a cooperative learning strategy known as "numbered heads together."

I won't take the time to explain the process because it is done so well in these two videos.  The first video describes exactly what the activity is.  The second video puts it into practice during an elementary class discussion.

I like this strategy because cooperative learning is important for students, and having a few moments to think of the answers to their questions is certainly helpful, as opposed to expecting an immediate answer and faltering when students cannot provide one.  There are times in group discussions when some quiet or reluctant students allow others to take control of the activity, but numbered heads together is a good way to ensure that you get responses from all students.  I also like that the first video stresses the importance of active listening during the activity, as students who are waiting to respond must hear and think about another student's answer before deciding to clarify, add to or contradict that response.

Discussion, thinking, listening and participation are all integral parts of this cooperative learning strategy.  It could also be used in several subjects and for various grade levels.

If you try it out, let me know how you like it!

No comments:

Post a Comment