It's All About Engagement - Shapes Activity

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:15 am

It's All About Engagement - Shapes Activity

Post by amy_kranz » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:19 am

At my first Kagan - Day 1 training, we did an activity for Think-Write-RoundRobin dealing with shapes. It contained a square, triangle, circle and Z. Do you have a copy of the original I can use? Also, is there a source for introducing this topic to students?

Elia Chesnoff
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Re: It's All About Engagement - Shapes Activity

Post by Elia Chesnoff » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:50 am

Hi Amy,

The shapes Teambuilder comes from the book "The Creative Mind" by Doctor Ned Herman, I believe. Basically we show the shapes (Square, Triangle, Z, and Circle) with the following questions:

"Which of these shapes best represents your personality?"

I should also note that although in the workshops, we often explain what the shapes mean, we discourage sharing those answers with students. The concern comes from having students begin to label each other by the shape they chose.

As a Teambuilder, it doesn't necessarily have to be shapes since what is important is that they are practicing sharing about themselves (which as an added benefit includes them practicing a certain sense of self awareness). The Think-Write-RoundRobin could just as easily be:

Mountain, Beach, Desert, Jungle
Air, Water, Earth, Fire
Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw
Vampire, Werewolf, Warlock, Shadowhunter

And so on . . .

What is important is that as students share they are are getting to learn more about each other and begin to see the similarities while appreciating the differences among their teammates.

I'm thrilled that you're planning on Teambuilding - it is a key to success with implementing cooperative learning.

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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:41 am

Re: It's All About Engagement - Shapes Activitypick

Post by rickduvall » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:09 pm

I agree with Elia. Remember that the shapes activity in your workshop was used for teambuilding for teams comprised of adult learners. Ned Hermann's work has focused primarily on adults. You have a ton of ready-to-use teambuilding activities for young people in chapter 10 in your Kagan Cooperative Learning textbook that you received at your workshop. I strongly urge you to use those resources with your students instead of the shape activity. You might look back at your notes from the workshop, on your lightbulb pages for the ideas that you generated with teammates, for ways you can use other structures for teambuilding. For example, I'm sure you brainstormed with teammates teambuilding topics for RoundRobin, Fan-n-Pick, and other structures. The topics simply need to be fun, non-academic, and easy for every student to answer. I am so excited that your students will get to experience teambuilding at least two times a week in your classroom this year!