Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Collaborative Learning by using worksheet and Mind Mapping

I used a method to design and implement parts of my grade level primary 4 Thai history curriculum. I found a way that can help my students love to study Social Studies that focuses on Thai history and the Geography of Bangkok. It is collaborative learning. This strategy is about students learning together. Collaborative Learning refers to the process of students’ working together in small group, using social skills to achieve academic objectives. Collaborative Learning is now an accepted instructional strategy that promotes learning and achievement across the curriculum (Cohen, 1994). It provides a valuable instructional approach for social studies education. There are many quite different forms of collaborative learning, but all of them involve having students work in small groups or teams to help one another learn academic material (Slavin, 1990). In my Social Studies class all the members in group have an opportunity to discuss information or practice skills. Each member in the group can share ideas, have discussions about what they should do and what did they learn. The discussion can take place in class or out of class. The better students can help the weak students, and they can work to succeed together. An example of an activity that I did with my students was to let them work in groups by doing a project about a field trip. First, I divided the students into 10 groups. Each group has 6 students, and I mixed the better students and the weak students together. For better student they could write well in English but the weak could not I determined their abilities from their previous grades in my class at the first semester. My observe action of them while I teach Social Studies in class and I discussion about their abilities and their behavior with the other teachers. When I talk about any collaborative teaching method with my colleague, I can integrate my subject with the other subjects. In each group there were 3 – 4 weak students that cannot study well. The activity in which I used collaborative learning is a field trip to the old Thai capital. At Ayutthaya. Field trips are good learning experience in which to use collaborative learning because the students can see everything first hand and have these experiences together. Before I took the students to this trip, I set the program as follows: 1. The other teachers and I in Primary 4 set the program for a field trip at Ayutthaya Province. We announced the information and program to the students and the parents and identified the date and time. 2. We took the students to Ayutthaya Province. The places that we visited were Bang-pa-in Palace, Ancient Royal Palace, Queen Sri Suriyothai Memorial and Phukhao Thong Memorial Park. 3. In every place there was a guide to explain in detail and give information about all these places. 4. All of the teachers take charge of all the students and give them some suggestions about safety and how to get the most learning from the learning experiences. 5. The students have learned some parts of the historical of Ayutthaya and the wars that The Thai King and Queen Sri Suriyothai fought with the Bermese Army before in their text book. 6. After this trip I give a project to them by giving a worksheet for them to write the sentences in English in the form of Mind Mapping; they could draw pictures and color them. 7. Before each student does their work, they have a discussion in the groups that I already set up. The discussion and questions in the group is about the question below. 7.1 Which king had many white elephant? 7.2 Which king killed Queen Suriyothai? 7.3 Which king of Burma attacked Ayutthaya? 7.4 Why did King Thaksin more the capital from Ayutthaya to Thonburi? 7.5 Why did Queen Sri Suriyothai join in the war? 7.6 How about the daily life of people in Ayutthaya Period. 7.7 Which religion do most Thai people at Ayutthaya period believe in? 7.8 Queen Sri Suriyothai was the wife of King ____________ 7.9 White elephants were a symbol of what for Ayutthaya Period. 7.10 Which army burnt Ayutthaya and took its treasures? 7.11 What do you know the new things about Ayutthaya? 7.12 Where can we find and get information about the past? 8. Then they do Mind Mapping from worksheet. The topic of this worksheet is “Ayutthaya Province” The students could write everything that they have learned from this trip in Mind Mapping. 9. While they work in group, they have discussion, share ideas and opinions or knowledge from this trip to each other. 10. The weak students cannot write well and did not have many ideas. So, better students could help. I walked around and gave some suggestions, helping them as much as possible. It is necessary to motivate them by giving them positive suggestions. 11. After they finished having the discussion in groups, all of the students got their own worksheet to do by themselves individually. Then they gave presentations to other members in their groups until they were ready to present to each other. 12. At the end of this activity, I checked students’ work from their worksheets. Most of them could write more sentences better. They got more knowledge about Ayutthaya before they had a field trip and collaborative learning. I know the result by comparing their work and checking their knowledge by asking the questions, I asked and check their worksheet before and after collaborative learning by using Mind mapping. The questions were the same as I asked before they worked in groups. Most of the weak students could not answer the questions and also could not write the sentence When I let them study and work by themselves individually. After I used collaborative learning by working in small group, they learned better. There are only 1 – 2 weak students in each group that still failed, but their scores better than when they worked alone. They could write more sentences and answer more questions. That means collaborative learning by using Mind Mapping, group discussion and asking questions are useful for the studying to help weak students and better student learn better. These are some students’ scores before and after working in group and have in the field trip. Questions Better Students Weak Students No. Before After No. Before After 5 8 12 28 5 12 6 10 12 32 4 7 Mind Mapping Better Students Weak Students No. Before After No. Before After 5 4 6 28 2 6 6 5 6 32 3 6 For number 5 and 6 they are better students, number 28 and 32 they are weak students. In Saint Gabriel’s College the students have their own number. In each room there are number 1 – 65. Assess of Mind Mapping - There are 6 boxes, each box is 1 point. So, 6 boxes = 6 points - The students could write more than 3 boxes if they cannot they will fail. That mean collaborative learning does not work. After I assess my student a most of them can pass and can write more than 4 boxes. In this point that mean they could succeed with collaborative learning by using mind-mapping. Assess of questions worksheet There are 12 questions each question is 1 point. The students could give correct answer more than 6 questions. If they can not they are fail that mean collaborative learning does not work. After I assess them. They could learn better than before I used collaborative learning. Most of them can give the correct answers more than 6 questions. As the result, the student could successful by using collaborative learning with working in small group together. I found how much the students were successful and why they succeeded. Before they had a field trip and had collaborative learning, about 2-4 students were failing before they have a field trip and use collaborative learning. But after they have working collaborative learning in group and the field trip only 1-2 weak students did not pass. Even they failing their scores that I found were higher than before working in group. I work at Saint Gabriel’s by discussing the students’ work with the other teachers and I share the concept of Mind Mapping to them. We talk about this trip and decide if it is a good idea or not. What is the problem? How much new knowledge and experiences will the students gain from this trip? What are the things that need to be improved? Do the students succeed from this trip and the strategy? What are the other subjects that should be integrated with this trip? etc. In my opinion, the students can gain the knowledge and improve a lot from a field trip in which they use collaborative learning of mind mapping. All of the teachers that work with me in primary 4 also agree with the project. Some of the problems that we found we had discussions about solve to these problems together. (collaborative teaching method). The good things were some suggestions from the parents. This activity and strategy make the students succeed with the lesson, happy with their studying, and get good social skills in their life. The important thing that I have to realize is how to use this strategy. (Collaborative Learning) and get success together. Collaborative Learning is not only used with the students but it is also used with the other teachers. I will use these strategies in my class as a possible, and I will share this strategy to other teacher at the other grade level. _________________________________________________________________________ By Ms. Sutee Pattanasettakul Qualification: Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Mansomdejchoapraya University, Major : Primary Education / Teaching: Social Studies, Primary 4 / Teaching Strategy or Model: Collaborative Learning to the process of students’ working together in small group to achieving academic objective. Source: