Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Regina Toscania Post 3

BBI Teacher's picture

I use cooperative learning with my students on a daily basis. The students are grouped, usually in pairs, sometimes 3 together. One type of task they work on together involves solving a puzzle (such as a crossword, using a map, etc.). One time the crossword puzzle included the answers (written and underlined in a paragraph above the crossword). I told them them to read the paragraph first, read the clues, then fill in the boxes of the crossword. One pair of students was finished rather quickly. I checked their answers and was amazed that the puzzle was correctly filled in. I asked them how they finished so quickly. One boy pointed to the other and said,”He counted the boxes”. It appears that they did not read anything. Instead they would count the number of boxes for one clue, then count the letters in each of the underlined words. If the word had the same number of letters as the clue had boxes, the students would write in the word. The students came up with a different problem-solving method, then the one I wanted them to use. Luckily, the answers all had different number of letters. I rewarded the pair, but also asked them to read the paragraph as they waited for the others to finish.