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Special Article

East Haddam Elementary Receives Kagan Charitable Foundation Grant

Margaret Lettieri
Reading Specialist

To cite this article: Lettieri, M. East Haddam Elementary Receives Kagan Charitable Foundation Grant. Kagan Online Magazine, Issue #62. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing. www.KaganOnline.com

The staff at East Haddam Elementary School has been fortunate enough to participate in Kagan Cooperative Learning Day 1 training following a grant awarded in 2019. Our school has a current focus on the improvement of student engagement to impact learning and developing our overall sense of school community.

Teachers have said that, “the Day 1 Kagan Professional Development was wonderful because the structures are easily incorporated into all subjects across the day and don’t require a ton of prep. This means that I will be able to use them consistently.”

The outcome of this training is clearly the immediate implementation of numerous Kagan engagement structures in our classrooms. These structures will eventually support our students in their improved achievement, both academically and socially/emotionally. Our students’ academic growth will be positively impacted, and more importantly, their social and emotional development will flourish as a sense of classroom and school community is built. Each of our learners will then become more successful, experience improved self-esteem, develop increasingly positive peer relationships, and improve their communication skills with a variety of individuals. As a result, they will have a very strong learning foundation upon which to build. Teachers have said that, “the Day 1 Kagan Professional Development was wonderful because the structures are easily incorporated into all subjects across the day and don’t require a ton of prep. This means that I will be able to use them consistently.” Additionally, teachers felt that implementing the numerous structures as management tools for keeping their classes accountable, engaged, and learning would ensure interactive ways of learning for all. This will foster peer respect and improve student learning while increasing cooperation, excitement, and overall willingness to be part of a team.

It is evident that the implementation of teambuilders and classbuilders has already supported the development of classroom community within our school. The structures have begun to address the multiple learning styles of our students, as well as boost communication skills through each highly engaging format. By putting a structure for interaction in place, students are becoming better communicators and listeners. I have personally seen peer relationships begin to develop as common expectations are laid. As a direct result, students are interacting in a more respectful and compassionate manner!

Our school has already taken the next step to book our Day 2 Kagan Cooperative Learning Professional Development. Additionally, this training will be followed up with some coaching for teachers. This level of support has been requested by our staff and we are fortunate enough to have administrative support to move forward with Kagan Professional Development. We extend our most sincere gratitude for the opportunity to receive the exceptional Day 1 training with Jennifer Ingalls through your grant. I believe you have opened new doors to the teachers and students at East Haddam Elementary School.