Cooperative Grouping in the 21st Century Classroom

Posted by Marissa Alonzo on March 08, 2016



"Cooperative grouping" is a new technique trend for the 21st century classroom that introduces students to beneficial group activities and prepares them for careers that demand fluid team approaches to solving problems.

Cooperative grouping is used to inspire greater student exploration and engagement during lessons, but there are three major challenges that many classes will face when implementing the strategy.

First, using this strategy to demonstrate an assignment may reduce the amount of exposure given to that lesson. This is a common concern, as group activities may require that more attention be given to the classroom and the students and making sure the assignment is completed, while less of the content is being explored. This challenge can be remedied by simply evaluating which lessons are more successfully demonstrated through group activity than others. 

Once the assignment is chosen, the next challenge is discovering how successful it will actually be and how much student engagement is produced. Students can become less engaged as the natural course of the activity unfolds, because of their differing personalities or those students who feel like "they know more" than others. The best course of action in those situations is knowing when to intervene. Like anything else that involves group activity, science lessons will bring out the best and worst of students, but following through can be beneficial. 

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Topics: STEMscopes, STEM Ed News, Content Offer

Elevate Student Results with  Three Ready-to-Use Resources

Posted by Marissa Alonzo on December 02, 2015


A couple of weeks ago we were front and center at the 2015 CAST conference, hosted  in Ft. Worth, Texas. Those of you that stopped by the booth walked away  with three great resources to take back to your classroom. Didn't make it to the booth? No sweat! We've brought the booth to you! Download the activities now. 

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Topics: Content Offer

Biology ReTEKS— Helping Your Students Pass the Texas EOC exam

Posted by Marissa Alonzo on October 19, 2015


Biology is a tough subject for many students. With each passing year, standards for the Texas biology End of Course exam are increasing, and students will continue to struggle with the content. This begs the question of how much importance we are putting on a grade (which you can explore further in our What's in a Grade?).  No matter which side of the conversation you are on, you will probably agree that students need tools that cultivate their understanding of biology and improve their scores on the biology EOC so they can pass onward in the educational system.

Often, small changes in how we deliver curriculum can make a world of difference in dispelling students' misunderstandings. From utilizing a hands-on approach to elaborating biological processes through videos, teachers strive to bring meaningful understanding to the subject. Sometimes, despite the efforts students will struggle with exams which may leave them feeling hopeless.

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Topics: Teacher Tips, STEMscopes, Content Offer