Before/After Cooperative Learning

We had our first Cooperative Learning class meeting last night, and thanks to some high-quality ‘Think-Pair-Sharing’ with the lovely, hilarious, and supremely talented Ms. Diana Painter, I left with some great ideas about how to use Cooperative Learning structures with TPRS. This was one of her ideas for using the Kagan structure ‘Hands-Up, Stand-Up, Pair-Up’ (students stand up with a hand in the air and find someone to high-five and partner with, complete the activity, and then repeat the process). It’s a great variation on the Before/After activity that I’ve been working with lately. Gotta keep it fresh!

  1. Students illustrate four scenes, or ‘moments’, from a story–this could be from an oral or written story.
  2. Students find a partner using Hands-Up, Stand-Up, Pair-Up.
  3. Students describe one of the four scenes in the target language to the partner.
  4. In the target language, the partner writes down what happened immediately before or after that scene in the space provided on the form (linked below), and he or she signs his or her name below it.
  5. Students find a new partner and repeat the process.

The first page of the document is in Spanish, and the second page is in English. If you’d like an editable version of the document, please email me.

Find someone who before:after

7 comments

  1. Hi, I don’t really understand the stand up hand up pair up thing because the pairs finish each activity at all different times. Plus, what happens if not everyone raises their hands? Do the people who didn’t go with people who did? Or do the hands up go with each other and the no-hands-up do it a different way?
    I’m sorry, I just can’t visualize it and it didn’t really work when I used it in class today.
    Thank you!

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    • Students put a hand in the air as soon as they are finished with their current partner and look for other students that have their hands in the air. When they find someone else with their hand in the air that they have not yet worked with, they give a high-five and become partners. Having your hand in the air is your signal to the rest of the class that you are looking for a new partner. If you are working with someone, keep your hand down. If you’re done working with your current partner and looking for a new one, get your hand in the air! It works well for activities in which pairs finish at different times because they can see at a glance anyone else that is also finished and ready for a new partner. Occasionally, students might have to wait around for 30 seconds or so for another pair to finish and be ready to work with a new partner. It is essential that ALL students put their hands up when finished with their partner; otherwise, the activity falls apart. You just have to stay on the kids about getting their hands in the air, and they will get the hang of it after the first or second time that you use the structure in class.

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  2. My school started using Kagan Structures this year after a two-day training with a Kagan rep. It has definitely breathed new life into many classrooms. After becoming proficient in a few of the structures, I’m starting to look for ways to integrate them into my TPRS curriculum. Thanks for the great idea!

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