Thanks to a generous UMSL mini-grant all instructional staff at St. Louis College recently received two days of intensive Kagan Professional Development focused on improving cooperative learning in the classrooms.
Principal Lauren Chaney said that the skills learned in the workshops have already started to be implemented in our classrooms in the first week of Cycle 4.
“The professional development opportunity to introduce Kagan Cooperative Learning to our staff during PD week was such a great experience,” she said. “Teachers are able to bring some of the strategies that we learned at Kagan straight into the classroom on Day 1! Scholars will be working in teams, holding each other accountable and process information more with classmates! This was a great opportunity which we will continue to grow from going forward!”
The training, held in O’Fallon, MO, featured two workshops.
The first workshop, Accelerating Achievement, focused on strategies to encourage participation by each student in a group learning project, provided guidance for helping students develop a circle of peer encouragement, support, and tutoring, helped teachers master structures designed to address the 5 dimensions of accelerated achievement, all of which will lead to boosted test scores.
The second workshop, Higher Level Thinking Skills, explored the 15 most fundamental thinking skills and jump-start critical and creative thinking.
Improving the use of group work in all of our classrooms will ensure that every scholar is involved in and benefiting from the learning process leading to greater knowledge retention and better performance on tests. This workshop was specifically designed to give instructors tools to help the student improve their creative and critical thinking skills - a key aspect of the rigorous learning environment required to ready our scholars for college success.