**Helpful Hints for Cooperative Learning Lessons **

- Begin trying cooperative learning with a homework assignment. Students could check their homework in groups, going over each problem and clarifying if there were any questions. The groups could then work each problem on the board.
- When beginning to use cooperative learning, start each class with a short lecture and then transition to a CL activity. As the instructor and students gain experience with using CL, begin the class with a CL activity and then conclude with a short lecture to highlight important points.
- Begin implementation by only using pairs for CL groups. Students who are inexperienced in using CL groups will be more likely to participate with just one other person in the group. Having only two students in a group is also an ideal way to teach key group work skills.
- When beginning CL implementation, only use the technique in one class period. Once you and the students have become more adept at using CL, you can increase it to involve more students/classes.
- Begin with worksheets as a form of group accountability. Students who are inexperienced with CL often have a difficult time getting started or reaching their goals. Having a worksheet to guide them will help the groups set their priorities, work towards their goal, and produce the assessment task.

**Frequently Asked Questions about Cooperative Learning **

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**When is the best time to begin implementing cooperative learning?**

The best time to begin using CL in the classroom is at the start of a new term or school year. This way, the students will not be exposed to individual work and then have to “switch gears” and learn to work in a group in the middle of the year.

**Do you have to use cooperative learning all the time?**

No, it is not necessary to use CL in your classroom at all times. It is often advised to use CL for a unit or two, use another teaching method for a while, and then revisit CL at a later time.

**Should you include parents in cooperative learning?**

Yes, parents and the community should be included in all school activities, including CL. This can be done through newsletters and/or special programs when parents and the community, visit the classroom and view the groups’ assessment tasks.

**What happens if one group finishes early?**

If one group finishes early, the instructor can provide extension activities/tasks for that group. As more groups finish, pairs of groups can team up and share/comment on each other’s work