Choosing the Right Technique for Cooperative Learing

Choosing the Right Technique for Cooperative Learing

Order Description

Is there something the teacher could have done different to get Nathan to participate more in class?

Pick out a couple of concepts from cooperative learning approach and decide if the teacher followed it.

Instructions for Case Study
Analyze the attached case study and apply the concepts learned in class. Write a
typed, double-spaced paper not to exceed five pages. If you use material from our
text or other sources be sure to include a citation. Plagiarism will result in an ”F”
for the paper. The paper will be due on October 2,2015.
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Case Study ‘ Mr. Bonanno’s science class

Mr. Ray Bonannowas planning lessons for his afternoon seventh-grade science class. Even
after six years of teaching, Ray still had the occasional puzzling class and this was one of
them. The Seaver Middle school did not track the students into ability groups, and Ray liked
working with a class that had students with a wide range of abilities. However, this class
seemed to have a number of students who were reading two levels below grade level, as well
as some students who seemed to be easily distracted. Of the seventeen students in the class,
four of the students had IEPs, but the rest just seemed as though they hadn’t quite discovered
the joy of learning. The class was extremely gregarious; Ray chuckled as he thought of some
of the antics the students carried out from time to time. Ian, Carlos and Jesse were the class
cut-ups and it was hard, at times, not to laugh at what they did. Most of the students seemed to
get along fairly well. Even though they were middle-schoolers, they didn’t seem to exhibit
some of the cutting behavior that students that age could display. Yet one student in the class
puzzled Ray the most. Nathan, a slight boy, seemed extremely shy, and Ray, normally an
outgoing, easy-going teacher who enjoyed joking with his students, found it much harder to
relate to Nathan. To Ray, Nathan seemed quite immature for a seventh-grader and to lack
certain social skills.

Ray continued to think about his plans, thinking about the past few weeks and what the
students did or didn’t seem to master. The class seemed to have difficulty with the scientific
method, experimenting and controlling variables. Even though Ray had planned an
experiment with them and guided them through it, step by step, he was unsatisfied with their
performance on a recent test. Flipping through several of his textbooks, Ray alighted on the
pendulum problem, and thought that would be a good experiment for his students to perform.
He thought that would give them additional practice with the concepts he wanted them to

Several days later, when the seventh-graders entered the room, Ray had a simple pendulum set
up on his work table. “Hey, Mr. Bonanno. . . What’s going on?” Martin walked by and
swatted the pendulum. “Hey there, Martin. How’s it going? Watch your hands, though.

You‘re about to ruin my set-up here. This is the kind of stuff NASA would be interested in.

“Yeah, right!” laughed Martin as he walked by to take his seat, joshing and tussling with

Ian and Peter. The rest of the students entered in much the same way, calling out to each other

or to Mr. Bonanno. Everyone, except Nathan, who walked in quietly and seemed to take the

least noticeable route to his seat. “I don’t get that kid,” Ray wondered to himself. “These kids

are a little chatty, but basically ok. I don’t know why he can’t make more of an effort.”

When the bell rang, Ray got right to work, presenting the students with his simple pendulum.

As he pulled back the paper clip at the end of the string, Ray asked them to watch what

occurred. He did that several times, pulling the string back and releasing it. After the fourth

time, Ray explained that frequency could be defined as the number of swings in a certain time

period. “What are some common objects that use a pendulum?” he asked the class.

Maria raised her hand, “Those big grandfather clocks?” “Good answer, Maria,” Ray replied.
“Anything else?” Raina called out, “my piano teacher uses this thing to help me keep time. A
metro something. . .” Ray hesitated, waiting to see if Raina would complete the answer. “A
metroNOME!” Jesse called out. “Don’t you know that, Raina?” Jesse called over to Raina, on
the other side of the room, and burst out laughing. Raina didn’t mind the teasing and laughed,
‘yeah, so you get one answer right, Jesse. Ooooh! Big deal.” Jesse’s fiiends laughed along with
Raina. Ray glanced at the class and smiled, but noticed Nathan doodling in his notebook, his head
down. “So, ok, all you future scientists. . .think about this. What do you think affects the
frequency of the pendulum?” With some coaxing, students offered various possibilities until Ray
helped them narrow the options down to three: length, weight, and angle of release. “So. . .” Ray
paused dramatically, ‘your mission is to figure out what affects the frequency. You’ll need to
design your own experiment in the groups I’ve assigned to you. Take one sheet and pass them
back,” Ray instructed as he walked by the front row of desks. After he handed out the papers, he
pulled up the screen in front of the chalkboard. It was covering the group assignments he made.
“If your name has a star next to it, then you’re the leader of the group. Everyone go to that
person’s work table. Each leader can come up and collect the rmterials.”

For the next minute or so, the students rearranged themselves into their groups. Nathan shuflled
over to his group members Raina, Ian, and Luis. Raina read the instructions again, interrupted
several times by Ian, but the group appeared to be getting to work. “I think Raina will be a good
leader for that group,” Ray thought. “She’s fi’iendly, she’ll probably help Nathan along.” Ray
circulated around the room, pausing to check that the groups were getting to work and
understood their assignment. Afier his first cycle through the classroom, Ray hovered near
Raina’s group. “What’s frequency again, Mr. B?” Luis asked. “Before I answer, think about it
Luis. What did I do up there with the pendulum?” Luis said, ‘you swung the string.” “Right.
so remember what we talked about? What would frequency measure?” Luis hesitated and
stared at Mr. Bonanno, then at his group members. Nathan took a visible step backwards, as if
trying to make himself invisible. “The number of times it swings. . .” Ian finally answered. “Yes
but you need more. What else?” Ray looked at Nathan. “Nathan, what do you think?” Nathan
looked up, from under his baseball cap. “Uh . .I don’t know,” he muttered. Ian glanced over at
Nathan and then at Mr. Bonanno. “Are we getting group points for this?” “Time!” called out

Ray ignored Ian’s question and agreed with Raina. Then he started to ask them questions about
how they could design an experiment. Raina and Ian immediately began talking at once, saying
they should pull the string back further and then swing it faster. “What do you mean?” Ray
asked. Ian answered confidently. “I think we should push it harder than you pushed it. . .” Luis
chimed in, “hey, that’s a good idea. We can do that.” Raina started writing some things down on
the group assignment sheet. “ok, who wants to do it first?” She looked at Nathan He shook his
head silently. Ray scanned the group. Before you begin to do that, I just want to ask you one

Ian, Raina and Luis looked up. “How hard did I push it?” Ray asked. “Not very hard, “ Ian
answered. “ok. . . “ Ray paused a moment. “So when you set up this experiment, how would
you measure that?” “Ohhhh,” Raina uttered. Ian and Luis still were watching Ray. “What?” Ian
demanded. “We can’t measure that, “ Raina answered. “Oh . . .” Ian replied. “So what should
we measure?” Luis called out, “we could measure the length of string.” “And the number of
paper clips” Raina added. “ok. ..” Ian answered.

“See how it goes, “ Ray commented. I’ll be back in a little while to see what you’ve come up
with.” The group started their experiment, first by counting the number of swings from the initial
pendulum for 15 seconds. “I’ll watch the clock, “ Raina offered. “Luis, you count the times.”
“I’m not being the notetaker. . .” Ian commented. “Why not?” Luis asked him. “Cause I’m not
gonna, that’s why” Ian replied. Raina looked back and forth at them and sighed, “Nathan?” He
just looked up and muttered something and shook his head, “I don’t have a pencil. . .” Raina was
silent for a moment, “ok, Ian you watch the clock, I ’11 write down the stuff. Come on, we gotta
get going here.” The group got to task, timing the first pendulum swing, noting results and then
discussing what they should do next. Raina said, “ok, we have 21 for the first try. What should
we do next?” Luis said, ‘Vve’re supposed to figure out what makes the fiequency change?”
“Yeah. . .” Ian replied. He started laughing. “We should put some silly putty on the end, and
then if it didn’t work, it would just fly ofl and hit Carlos. . .” He looked over to where Carlos was
working with three other students.

Raina and Luis laughed, and Nathan smiled shyly. “Yeah, and then Carlos would come over here
and pound you, “ chuckled Luis. “Let’s use a different length string, “ Raina said. “I think if it’s
shorter, it will go faster. . .” “Why?” Ian asked her. “I don’t know,” Raina said, giggling. “It’s
just what I think!” “ok, ok. So we should put another paper clip on a shorter string and see what
happens,” Luis offered. He picked up a shorter length of string and attached two paper clips on
the end. “ok, try this, “ he said to Raina. They swung it several times and Raina recorded their
results. Mr. Bonanno was at a nearby table and watched while they did their tests. He strolled
over. “What did you observe?” “It went faster this time,” Ian blurted out. Mr. Bonanno looked
at the shorter string and the two paper clips. “So, how did you change your test?” He looked at
Nathan, “Nathan?” Nathan looked up at Mr. Bonanno. “uhm, we changed the string?” he said

hesitantly. “ok, good. So what would you call the string in this experiment?” Nathan looked up,

and said nothing. Ray thought that it would be easier for him to ask one of the others to speak

up, but he wanted Nathan to become more actively involved in the group. “Remember that we

talked about the factors that you need to consider in an experiment? What are the ways in which
we can test a hypothesis?” Nathan still looked stumped. “Uhh. . .” By this time, the pauses

between Ray’s questions and Nathan’s silences were getting longer and longer. Ian looked

dismissively at Nathan, rolling his eyes at the quiet boy, and he began to blurt something. Mr.

Bonanno gave Ian a stem look, “give him a chance, Ian” Ian sighed, “everyone else is already

finishing. . .” as he looked across to the other tables. Even though Ray didn’t want to, he decided

to ask one of the others. “What would you label the string?” he asked again, and Raina

answered, “a variable. It’s a variable.” “Ok, so you told me you changed two variables, then,

didn’t you?” Ray paused, looking at the students, and then he moved to Nathan again, “What

was the first variable you changed in the experiment Nathan?” Nathan mumbled something.

“What did you say, Nathan?” Ray asked. Nathan said only slightly more audibly, “I don’t know.”

Ian called out, “oh man!!!”

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