1. Collect data in your classroom early in your
that provides you with information related to how the children view
other with respect to academic strength and friendship patterns.
(Classroom Structures Assignment.)
2. Continue to build collaborative norms into your classroom
as part of the climate building activity in your classroom (Cohen,
Post the norms you choose somewhere in your room so your chldren can
them. Examples of collaborative norms include:
3. Begin to prepare the children for cooperative work by teaching
skills you deem important. Read C5. in Cohen. Play some
games with the children where they learn cooperative behaviors.
Designer (Cohen, p. 168), Guess My Rule (Cohen, P. 170), and The Four
Rocket (Cohen, p. 178) are effective examples of games that teach
the skills of cooperation. These could be played as part of a
meeting. Make sure the children learn the name of the
skill you are trying to teach them . Examples:
- No one is a smart as all of us together.
- You have the right to ask anyone in the group for help.
- Your have the duty to assist anyone who asks for help.
- Help other group members without doing their work for
- Everyone cleans up.
- Everyone helps.
Your teacher probably knows some role playing games that teach these
of social skills. This is best done during the time you are
about norms, probably the first six weeks of school. The list of
student behaviors on p. 46 is also helpful in this regard.
- explaining by telling how,
- everybody helps,
- discuss - decide - make a plan,
- show you are listening by repeating what someone has said,
- making eye contact with the person speaking.
4. Gradually introduce the children to playing roles in a
C6). It is a good idea to post the role descriptions somewhere in
your room so children can refer back to them for clues about what to
Roles might include:
- materials manager,
5. When you begin to design your interdisciplinary theme, design
rich small group collaborative learning tasks around a big content
Ideally, you should have as many rich multiple
ability learning activities as there are groups of 4 in your
The criteria on p.68 are useful as you plan these activities.
activity should have an activity,
resource, and individual report card. Place two or three
criteria on each activity card. The evaluative criteria should be
written to identify the content you wish the children to learn from
the particular activity. Evaluative criteria can be connected to
the evidence portion of the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning
Opportunities. Use the CI Unit taught by Suzanne McKegney as a
working model. Suzanne's Rotation as well as additional examples
of rotational learning activities are provided as supportive
materials on this website.
6. Ideally, the learning activities should be taught in
during the second week of your solo activity after you have introduced
content related to your interdisciplinary unit. In many cases,
may bridge into a third week. Adjust this assignment to fit the
of your class to undertake this kind of collaboration. We will
at an video example of a CI rotation so you can have a clear picture of
what this assignment might look like. Keep in mind that each day
of a rotation starts with an orientation and ends with a wrapup
competence at least three times during each day of the
Target children who are non-participators but include participators as
well. It would be great if your cooperating teacher could observe
you do this an take note of your assigning competence. Just to
the criteria for effective competence assignment (Cohen, p. 132) are:
- name the child,
- name the multiple ability they are demonstrating,
- tie their ability to the group task and tell how it will
of the group goal more possible; and if you are really good,
- connect the ability with a life-long, valued occupation.
8. Design a pre/post test on essential information you
would like the children to learn as a result of this unit. Based
the assessment on your evaluative criteria. Give the pretest
the rotation begins. Give the posttest after the rotation is
Compute the average gain score for your class.
9. Write an assessment narrative
once the rotation is
write this assignment as if you were writing a regular academic paper.
Please do not consider each section a single paragraph. Overall, this
paper asks you to report how you actualized the collaborative learning
strategies that make up Complex Instruction, and to relate what
happened for the children identified in your structures paper as a
result of your considerable efforts. It would be good to review the
rubric for this assignment to help guide your writing.
Section One: Introduction To The Paper
is your purpose in this writing. What was your grade level and school
and any special considerations in your instructional assignments?
Explain what your interdisciplinary unit was and how (and if) Ci fit
within it. Name your essential idea and big ideas (if appropriate), and
give the title of your rotation. This section gives the reader the
context for what is to come.
Section Two: Preparation
did you prepare the class for your collaborative work? Skillbuilders,
when and how? Constraints... . How did you prepare your children/youth
for using the norms of collaboration and groupwork roles. How
seamless/disparate was this work from the regular routines of your
Section Three: CI Activities - Activity and Resource Cards
descriptions of your activities, including the multiple abilities that
are central to the fun completion of what you have designed. How does
each activity address your big ideas and/or the essential question for
Section Four: How The Rotation Proceeded
did it go. A brief color commentary of each day. Nothing huge, but give
the reader a flavor for how it all came down. This is where you write
about how you carried out the Multiple Ability Status Treatment. A list
of the abilities that you use for initial examples and any additional
abilities that got added to the list as the rotation proceeded would be
Section Five: Pre/Post Assessments
did you carry out these assessments? Include a table of pre/post scores
for each child. Indicate your "identified children." If possible, use
the same table you did for the status order assessment with three
additional columns: pre score, post score, gain. Any quirks in the
assessment process should go here.
Section Six: Selected Student Behavior
Section Seven: Conclusion/Reflection
own personal reflection about what happened and what you learned as a
result of what you did here: teaching the children to collaborate in a
certain way so that they all might learn better and deeper. What would
you have done differently? What did you do well? What was most
meaningful to you as a result of this work?