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Small Group Interactions (Learning and Mathematics)

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Author:Susan Bobbitt Nolen; Math Forum
Description: In this 1991 article, "Small-group interactions as a source of learning opportunities in second-grade mathematics," Yackel, Cobb, and Wood, of Purdue University Calumet, Vanderbilt University, and Purdue University, respectively, describe an experiment in which all instruction in a second grade mathematics classroom was replaced by small group problem-solving strategies for an entire school year. Children were grouped in pairs and spent half of each math period working together to solve math problems. The other half of the period was used for whole group discussions of the paired activities. Work was not graded, nor was there a set amount of work to be completed; rather, the teacher gave report card grades based on her knowledge of the children, and the students were allowed to spend as much time as they needed to discuss each problem and arrive at a solution. The goal of the project was to foster collaborative learning and build conflict resolution skills, as well as to provide for other learning opportunities that do not arise in more traditional classrooms. A geometry.pre-college newsgroup discussion.

Levels: Elementary, Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Languages: English
Resource Types: Discussion Archives, Articles
Math Ed Topics: Grouping/Cooperative Learning, Pedagogical Research

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