Should middle and high schools sit in TEAMS?

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
Christi Brown
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:15 pm

Should middle and high schools sit in TEAMS?

Post by Christi Brown » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:11 pm

In a word, yes.

Why not? What are we preparing them for? They will not be part of a workforce that operates in isolation but in cooperation, and ALL that it represents through social skills! We have spent so much time teaching students how to be quiet in rows, why then, can we not teach them to sit quiet in teams? We have great management as teachers, rules and expectations, and a class climate that promotes a positive working environment. So, I had to spend a few extra seconds "re-training" their brains that teams DID symbolize that we will talk and work together, but there is also time for quiet while I lecture.

Also, how much time all year is being wasted because of moving desks to complete a Kagan structure? If a really good class with a fabulous teacher only takes 1 minute, and that same dedicated teacher uses 1 structure a class with 8 classes a day; my friends, it is approximately 13 class periods (1 hour blocks) lost forever. That's almost a unit in some classes, and a month of study in others. If rooms are arranged in teams already, then using structures becomes easier, and easier to implement MORE often.

I'm interested in hearing how we can help our secondary students sit in teams full-time. Any suggestions?
Thank you for what you do to prepare our students for the realistic future, and in creating better citizens.
All the Best,
~Christi Brown

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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Should middle and high schools sit in TEAMS?

Post by rachel.treaster » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Having students seated in teams also allows teachers and students more room to maneuver throughout the class. The closer we are to students, the more easily we can hear their comments being made during the structures and the better their on-task behavior may be during class. Teachers can also monitor students to see which parts of the content they are understanding and which parts we may need to stop and re-teach.

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Re: Should middle and high schools sit in TEAMS?

Post by krisosthoff » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:01 am

Great question and great ideas!
To build off these, a secondary eacher just told me in the last few weeks how much she now enjoys having her class arranged in the interior loop (textbook page 8.14) that Rachel is referring to. She monitor students better, and another favorite includes she can catch students trying to text easier!
A recent article that supports students working in teams focuses on video game schools found at: ... 53323766/1. The author states,"As students and parents evaluate schools, they should consider programs that foster learning through team-driven interdisciplinary cooperation, says Michael Zyda, director of the GamePipe Laboratory at USC."

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Re: Should middle and high schools sit in TEAMS?

Post by frutte » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:37 pm

For Singapore where individual achievements are valued more, it is so hard to get classes to work in teams.

Students are rooted in ideas where individualistic achievements matters more, and they do not work well in teams. Some people refused to share knowledge.

Also, I need to set up the chairs and tables for team based learning for each period, and then put them back. A lot of time is wasted as we have only 40 mins per period. On average it takes 2 to 3 mins to set up the classroom and another 2-3 mins to put the classroom back for other teachers who do not support Kagan learning methods.

As well, many students are having resistant to changes. They have classmates whom they will not work with, and refused to help. Or they will form groups with only their buddy and refuse to cooperate outside of their buddy. :(

Finally, where there is big portion of poor students, the good students are increasingly fed up by helping the poorer one when they are not rewarded for helping. They view that there is unequal participations as poorer students always answer 'I don't know" or do not care about the class. How do I correct this?

I am a strong believer and avocate of Kagan methods. What I really need is a way to get classes to overcome their differences and work collabouratively. How can I encourage them to overcome their differences and try their best to work in teams?

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Re: Should middle and high schools sit in TEAMS?

Post by mswincel » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:19 pm

Maybe you need to have them look at if from a different perspective. Do they want to be successful in the business world when they graduate? If so, what qualities are the business world looking for in their employees. From the research Dr. Kagan has shared with us, businesses are looking for individuals who can communicate effectively and work cooperatively as a team to solve problems. An idea might be to bring business leaders into the classroom and share this perspective, it might change their minds about the qualities that you are trying to instill in them. Classbuilders and teambuilders with fun questions are essential to creating that classroom community of learners and building their will to work together, to see that they have things in common, no matter what their socio-economic status is. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Kagan, "It's hard to hate someone that you have something in common with." I admire your persistence with your students as you truly see the benefits that Kagan offers in the big picture of life beyond the classroom.