|REINFORCING EFFORT AND|
|SETTING OBJECTIVES AND|
|CUES, QUESTIONS, AND|
Ms. Cimino's middle school class was beginning a unit on the regions of the
United States. One of her goals was for students to understand how di-
verse the regions are. Ms. Cimino explained to students that they would
be working in small groups to create a class presentation about a particu-
lar region. Each presentation, which would be made in class in two weeks,
was to cover the geography, weather patterns, and economic/cultural ac-
tivities of the region. Ms. Cimino told students that they could use the re-
sources in the classroom, the library, or any of three Internet sites she had
To facilitate the groupwork, Ms. Cimino began by dividing the class into
groups of three and assigning a region to each group. Within each group,
students agreed who would be the overall leader or organizer, the recorder
of the group's discussions, and so on. Each group also decided how they
would divide up the work; because there were three students in each
group, most groups divided the research into the three areas of focus Ms.
Cimino had specified for the presentations. Ms. Cimino encouraged each
group to take time every couple of days to evaluate each individual's
progress, as well as the group's overall progress; to solve any problems they
were encountering; and to fine-tune their work as needed. Ms. Cimino met
with each group periodically to monitor their progress, help them solve
problems, and help them work together more effectively.
Ms. Cimino used one of the most popular instructional strategies in education—cooperative learning.