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Special Article

Kagan Magic

How It Changed a Struggling Student’s Life!

Kathleen Moroze

To cite this article: Moroze, K. Kagan Magic: How It Changed a Struggling Student’s Life!. Kagan Online Magazine, Issue #59. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing. www.KaganOnline.com

I am currently a first-grade teacher in a Title1 school in Broomfield, CO. I took a Kagan workshop in October 2016, and then another one in January. I began instituting the Kagan Structures such as RallyRobin, Timed Pair Share, and RoundRobin, the week after I took my first Kagan workshop. I then watched the “magic” of the Kagan research and structures unfold in my classroom!

Specifically, one of my students who was seriously considered for retention in August due to his disruptive behavior and possible learning disability, began to respond immediately to the Kagan Structures.

I soon observed that he was no longer an outcast; he was part of a work team. He was held accountable for his work and contributions. His classmates responded to him by encouraging him, and they also realized that he was a valuable member of the team. This student’s demeanor changed remarkably! He started smiling and looking his peers in the eye. This student’s disruptive behaviors began to diminish as he was included and valued by classmates, and as they embraced the Kagan Structures and cheers. This student started performing better in all subject areas like he had never done before. Between October and January, he increased his state testing scores by 80 points! His confidence soared as he became an accepted member of the class.

This student’s disruptive behaviors began to diminish as he was included and valued by classmates, and as they embraced the Kagan Structures and cheers.

In early fall, before I took the Kagan workshop, there had been several meetings with administration, teachers, and this student’s parents to problem solve next steps to promote this child’s success. His parents were considering professional outside help. November and December proved to be a turning point for this student and his family after I routinely started using Kagan Structures in my classroom. I was not the only one to start noticing the dramatic changes in this child’s behavior and attitude towards learning. Specialist teachers started commenting to me about this student’s positive demeanor in their classes. The child’s mother came in mid-December for a class event. I had a short private conversation with her to discuss if the family was still considering pursuing outside professional help for their child. She got a huge smile on her face and she said, “I no longer have to pursue help. I have a changed child at home!” His mother was beaming! She said it was the first time that her son truly wanted to get up and go to school, and that he talked about having friends and what he was doing in class. She stated that her child was finally “happy!”

She said it was the first time that her son truly wanted to get up and go to school, and that he talked about having friends and what he was doing in class. She stated that her child was finally “happy!”

I, without a doubt, attribute this dramatic positive change in this student to Kagan Structures and the research behind them. This student was truly engaged for the first time in his life! He came back after winter break and declared that he had made up his own cheer for himself and his classmates. We added his cheer to our class repertoire of cheers! He is delighted when we use his cheer!

I cannot even put into words how much I appreciate and believe in the Kagan methods! I use them every day in a multitude of ways in my classroom across subject areas, and I continue to be amazed at my students’ engagement, teamwork, collaboration, and accountable learning!