ERIC Number: ED446999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May
Motivating Students in Math Using Cooperative Learning.
In many elementary classrooms, math tends to be individualized work with repetitive paper-and-pencil assignments. This research project attempted to generate more interest in math, reduce math anxiety, and make math more enjoyable for students. Through the use of cooperative learning, students practiced and developed social skills needed to successfully accomplish given tasks and projects. Cooperative learning encourages group interaction with assigned roles, with each member sharing responsibility for the group and the work produced. A second grade class of twenty-five Black and Hispanic students worked in a cooperative learning environment for math. Each group completed reflections on how they worked together as a team and what they could do to improve. Groups took part in evaluating their work both collectively and individually. Results indicated that the use of cooperative learning did generate more interest in math and made it more enjoyable for both students and teacher. Students improved academically, socially, and in self-esteem. Having assigned roles caused students to have a sense of responsibility toward the team and the completed work. Plus-Minus-Interesting (PMI) reflections proved to be very helpful and insightful for the teacher and brought ownership to the students. Noise level and monitoring conversation topics proved to be challenges when using cooperative learning. These improved when each team was assigned a "monitor" job to one of its members. This classroom will continue to make cooperative learning an important part of its teaching and learning. (Author)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and Skylight Professional Development.