Feeling safe

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
Bbright
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:44 am

Feeling safe

Post by Bbright » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:53 am

Hi all. Asking as a person truly trying to help my kiddos with Kagan. Not as a naysayer or such. In a training we recently had an practice with a structure where one person from the 4 heads together had to stand and share at the same time. And it was discussed that this was “safe” for kiddos sharing. My question comes as a person with anxiety and as a mom of a kiddo with anxiety. I when We practiced it and when I later discussed it with my kiddo l, neither one of us felt safe sharing this way. My son commented but if I say The wrong answer and everyone turns to look at me, it doesn’t feel ok anymore.

Are there ways you help kiddos work through this? Do you choose one of the other ways to share? I inderstand That the team builders and class builders etc help with this. But I also Can see how when there are 7 different teams for 7 different classes each day that this can be a struggle. Again not naysaying. Asking for how you help your kiddos through these moments.

Thank you.

jeningalls
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:33 am
Location: CT

Re: Feeling safe

Post by jeningalls » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:22 am

Hi & thanks for reaching out. You are absolutely correct that Classbuilding and Teambuilding will help to build safety in a classroom. With some classes, teachers may need to do more than our Kagan team’s recommendations of 1x a week (CB) and 2x a week (TB).

In Numbered Heads Together, each team sits down when everyone knows the answer or has something to share. The teacher must emphasize that the teams do not sit down until all members are confident that anyone on the team could represent the team with their team’s consensus answer. Then the team representative is chosen to stand up and share the team answer. Team representatives simultaneously share the team answers to the teacher. There are a variety of ways for the team representatives to simultaneously respond — verbally, writing on answer boards and showing the teacher, selecting a response card, using finger responses, etc. (see page 6.48 in your Cooperative Learning textbook). You might want to try some nonverbal responses to create the safety necessary for risk-taking. Teachers will need to respond to team responses, both correct and incorrect. It’s important to create a classroom that supports learning where students feel safe to take academic risks. Numbered Heads Together is guided practice and mistakes will be made, that’s how we learn. This lines up perfectly with growth mindset too!

So in Numbered Heads Together, it’s not about an individual student getting a wrong answer. They are sharing their team response so everyone can learn more. I hope that helps to clarify :)

Bbright
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:44 am

Re: Feeling safe

Post by Bbright » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:25 pm

Hi. A person doing our training said for the students to erase their answers from their boards so that they had to solve it again prior to sharing out. So the emphasis was then on that friend doing the work again solo versus team answer...so perhaps that is why it was not as "Safe" feeling.

jeningalls
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:33 am
Location: CT

Re: Feeling safe

Post by jeningalls » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:13 pm

Hi... I hope my explanation cleared that up. It’s really about sharing the team answer, after erasing the boards, or sovling a similar problem after working with their team.

rcdanio
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:32 pm
Location: Shanghai, China

Re: Feeling safe

Post by rcdanio » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:43 am

Hi, I can relate to the question, as I have sought to address this feeling of safety myself. Here are some approaches I have used with my students:

- Emphasize the idea of representation over performance. I'll often state to the class, "This team has found that..."

- Celebrate consensus to help all students understand that just by standing for their team, they succeed. "Thank you for standing for your team."

- Begin using the structures with simple content. I can only integrate true lesson objectives after the structure has been practiced a couple of times. It means I cover a lot less curriculum content during that first lesson, but later lessons with this structure easily make up for that.

- Find what's right in each answer before stating corrections, especially in the first few implementations of Numbered Heads Together. If it's a word problem, for instance, I'll point out the team that used the wrong operation and say something like, "This team did find which information was needed to solve the problem." It's not fabricated, though. Kids pick up on false pretenses. I find an accomplishment that I feel honest praising. The class gets the message very quickly that anyone standing up is a champion for the class. I'm smiling ear-to-ear just at the joy of picturing my students standing.

- I remind myself that, just as mentioned in Brain-Friendly teaching, a balance of safety with a small dose of pressure maintains engagement and ensures learning. It's the "I" of the PIES. I adapt that balance as I get to know different students.

I'd love to hear more about making Numbered Heads feel safe!