Choosing the Starter

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:06 pm

Choosing the Starter

Post by nabezi » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:40 pm

Many times I find myself getting ready to use Kagan and then I'm tongue tied when it comes to starting because I use the same "starters" all the time. The person with the longest hair starts, the tallest person starts, the person whose names comes first alphabetically starts, etc. Does anyone have a list of starters, so I don't have to continue to use the same ones all the time?

Tom Searl
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:34 am

Re: Choosing the Starter

Post by Tom Searl » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:38 pm


There are 2 situations when you would need to decide 'who goes first' when using a Kagan structure.

First situation is when your students are standing up in random pairs during Classbuilding.
This is when you can use: the longer hair, taller person, etc ... Try to keep it simple and quickly identifiable. For example, the person standing closer to the teacher, or the person who is standing closer to the classroom door. Don't worry about always coming up with new ones. Use the same ones multiple times. Keep a list of existing ones and slowly add to your list (students can give ideas too). The Kagan Software Selector Tools has several great ideas, especially the "Who's Up" [edited]. Check out the software!

Second situation is when your students are seated at their base teams and are numbered off 1-4. Simply use a spinner to decide which number goes first. Kagan's SAME software (the Selector Tools) has various types of spinners for this situation! It's easy to use, and novel for students!

Hope this helps!