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Monday, July 4, 2011

Productive Group Work based on Collaboration.

Small group teaching can be a challenge.  Putting children together and expecting them to know how to organize, talk, and interact in a productive manner is not realistic.  Teachers choosing to use any type of small group instruction in their classrooms, must provide protocols for students - modeling the strategies and supporting the students through the process several times.  A great resource for establishing protocols is:

It is available on


Foldables  are another way to help students organize their thinking as well as engage them.

While many teachers think of this instructional strategy as geared for the elementary teacher, in truth, it can be used up through high school - see U.S. History.

Foldables work something like graphic organizers - they arrange the information to demonstrate (maximize) the relationship between concepts - something many students find challenging.

Foldables can be made in a variety of ways in order to show a variety of concepts.

If you are interested in learning how to the link I have provided will walk you through the process.

 A number of teachers use flip books to help students organize and prioritize information in content areas - a crucial strategy students need to master in order to comprehend.

This is another format to engage students and provide them with an opportunity to interact (comprehend) key concepts in social studies.

Flip Books can also be used as study guides. 

This format also lends itself to jigsawing or collaborative learning.


Data reveals gaps in educational opportunities for U.S. students

  • Although many studies focus on inner city schools, I often think many of the same conditions exist in our small, Maine schools.  What do you think?

  • Students' access to early education, rigorous academics and experienced teachers and counselors varies widely across the country, according to federal data released Thursday on 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts. For example, the study by the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights found that nearly 3,000 high schools in the U.S. do not offer Algebra II courses and fewer than 25% of districts offer free preschool for low-income children. Officials said understanding the findings would be an important step in remedying opportunity gaps for U.S. students. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (7/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story