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Research & Rationale

Kagan Structures Increase Achievement at Catalina Ventura School

Don Moenich, Title I, Catalina Ventura School,
Alhambra Elementary School District, Phoenix, AZ

To cite this article: Moenich, D. Kagan Structures Increase Achievement at Catalina Ventura School. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing. Kagan Online Magazine, Fall 2000. www.KaganOnline.com

Over the last four years, Kagan has been instrumental in helping our teachers practice cooperative learning structures. These cooperative structures assist teachers in promoting active student participation in the classroom. Kagan has provided the literature on how to teach various cooperative structures, training on when and where to use cooperative learning, and personal consultation on implementing Kagan structures school-wide.

Kagan has made learning fun and has contributed to the academic and social success of our students.

Assessment Outcomes
One noteworthy observation about the implementation of Kagan cooperative structures in our classrooms, school-wide, is in the area of achievement and poverty. Over the last three years our free and reduced lunch count has progressed from 55% in 1996-97 to 74% in 1998-99. Coincidentally, as poverty increased at our school, test scores have significantly risen each year. From 1996-97 to 1998-99, testing data from our District Assessment Plan in the area of reading, writing, and math, showed marked improvements in 23 of 26 areas when looking at percentages of students that mastered a skill. Some grade levels showed as much as 25% growth in students demonstrating mastery. The following are a few highlights of test data from 1996-97 to 1998-99.

Writing mastery
went from:

75.44% to 94.44% in 3rd grade
72.44% to 95.46% in 4th grade
56.67% to 81.87% in 7th grade

Reading mastery
went from:

92.19% to 98.25% in kindergarten
64.41% to 85.76% in 6th grade
68.33% to 81.59% in 8th grade

Math mastery
went from:

92.79% to 96.49% in 1st grade
93.58% to 95.07% in 2nd grade
84.85% to 92.45% in 5th grade

ESL Outcomes
ESL and monolingual students benefit from Kagan cooperative structures through the efforts of students teaching students. ESL students/monolingual students are paired up with bilingual students as a twin and then work cooperatively with another English-speaking student. According to research, students teaching students is one of the greatest strategies for student retention of material. It's estimated that students will retain 90% of what they're taught if they engage in teaching someone else.

First Grade California Achievement Test 1996-1999
First grade students at Catalina Ventura have consistently outscored the nation average when assessed in reading, language, and math on the California Achievement Test. While all areas show consistency, noteworthy is the increase in first grade language scores. Language scores increased from 52 NCE in 1996-97 to 55 NCE in 1998-99. Reasons for Catalina's first grade success are the all day kindergarten program, Title One Program, and the use of Kagan active participation structures.

Third Grade Stanford Achievement Test 1996-1999
Improvement in student achievement is also evident in the Stanford 9 testing. The chart shows the 1996-97 scores compared to the 1998-99 scores for language and math for the third grade. The third grade improved their language score from 51 NCE in 1996-97 to 56 NCE in 1998-99. Catalina third graders outscored the nation by three to five NCE's for each of the past three years.

Eighth Grade Stanford Achievement Test 1996-99
Catalina Ventura eighth graders show marked improvement in all subject areas over the past three years. The chart shows an improvement of five NCE's in math when comparing 1996-97 to 1998-99. Furthermore, Catalina eighth grade language scores increased from 47 NCE to 52 NCE. This growth is attributed to Catalina Ventura's outstanding leadership, staff development, and the implementation of highly successful Kagan teaching strategies.

District Criterion Reference Tests
1994-1999 Comparison for Math, Reading, and Language

Amazingly, Catalina Ventura students have improved their District Assessment performance in every grade level and subject over the past five years. For example, mastery of district skills in math at the sixth grade level increased 22%, progressing from 63% to 85%. Fourth grade reading scores jumped from 53% to 85%, a 32% increase. Finally, Catalina eighth graders jumped 33% in writing, climbing from 49% to 82%. This marked improvement in all subject and grade levels is further evidence of the effectiveness of Catalina Ventura leadership, programs, and instructions, in conjunction with Kagan instructional strategies.

Note: Charts are artistic representations with concerted effort to preserve accuracy.

Kagan is compiling data on the effectiveness of the Kagan methods. If any of you have any action research from your own classrooms or any comments you would like to share, we would very much appreciate hearing from you. Please E-mail Kagan at: Research@KaganOnline.com