Sunday, September 20, 2009
Pair & Group Work: the importance of Structure & Consistency
When I was told that I had been picked to attend this conference I was happy, and thought that it would be an opportunity to pick up some new techniques to use in the classroom. What I didn't realize was that it was going to help me implement strategies in my room that I had been struggling with since I started to teach. I knew how important it was to get children interested, and had been told what to do to get them involved. Every once and awhile I would try to use group work. I would work diligently on the lesson, and when the day would come it seemed to work okay for some classes and not at all for others. I was starting to get convinced that it could only work for some teachers and not for everyone. Although I knew it was important I wasn't sure how to get there. I had a good relationship with my students so I couldn't understand why everything seemed to go chaotic when they interacted with each other. The difference with this conference was they didn't just tell you, they showed you. I, like my students, needed to see the theory in practice, and not just once but many times. When I left after the three days I was excited, rejuvenated, and a little apprehensive. Luckily my teammates were willing to try anything which is very important as we collaborate on our lesson plans. From the very first day we have been using pair & group work. We have not just told them what we expect, but we have shown them. As they do work with each other daily it is starting to become part of their routine. Although I am still working to prefect the process I am convinced that everyone including myself can implement these strategies in their classrooms. This makes the learning environment more enjoyable for the student, and the teacher.