Ten cooperative learning strategies for preschool children

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Cooperative learning strategy (also known as collaborative learning strategy) is based on the Social Constructivist theory whereby learning happens with the guidance of or through collaboration with others. Cooperative learning strategy is done in pair or small groups after presenting a topic to discuss solutions to a problem or to brainstorm for ideas. Below are some of the cooperative learning strategies which you can employ in your preschool classroom:

  1. Round Robin – Each child will take turn answering a question. For example, if the class activity is to give words that begin with /s/, the first child will give one word, then the second child will give another word and so on until everyone has contributed a word.
  2. Roundtable – Rountable is similar with Round Robin. However, the main difference is the children write their ideas.
  3. Jigsaw – In Jigsaw, children are assigned with a number. Each number is given a part to tackle. For example, Child 1 will think of an action for stanza 1 of a poem, Child 2 will do stanza 2, an so on. Then, all of them will come together and share the actions to their group to have all the actions for that one poem.
  4. Give One, Get One – Children will go around and ask one idea from a friend. In exchange for that, he/she should also give one idea to his/her friend.
  5. Think-Pair-Share – The teacher will pose a question for the children to think. Then, they will find a pair and share their answers to their partner.
  6. Numbered Heads Together – In a group, each child will have a number. The teacher will call out a number, and all children in each group with that number will come together to answer a problem. After their discussion, they will go back to their own group and share the answers to their own group.
  7. Tea Party – Children will be in two circles or two lines. The teacher will pose a question. Those children who are facing each other will discuss the answers. After that, the outside circle or the one line will move so that they will have a new partner to discuss with.
  8. Writearound – This is good for creative writing. The teacher will give the beginning of the story (For example, “Once upon a time, the bear went to the forest and he…”). Each child will write something to continue the story.
  9. Gallery Walk – Children’s work will be placed on the wall or on the table for display. Children will then walk around and each child will explain their work. Other children may give comments on their friend’s work.
  10. Quiz-Quiz-Trade – Each child will have a partner. One child will ask a question and the other one will answer. Then, they switch roles.

There are a lot of cooperative learning strategies, but you can start using these ten strategies to jumpstart a collaborative work in your classroom.

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Muffin recipe for beginners

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After baking cupcakes successfully, I became motivated to do some more baking. My friend and I baked moist banana muffins. We followed the recipe from thediylighthouse.com. Below is the recipe that we had:

Ingredients:

Bowl #1

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Bowl #2

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Line muffin baking tin with baking paper cups.
  3. Mix all ingredients in Bowl #1.
  4. Mix all ingredients in Bowl #2.
  5. Fold the mixture from Bowl #1 to Bowl #2.
  6. Fill each muffin cups with muffin batter.
  7. Put in the oven.

My friend and I exactly followed the recipe, except that we reduced the amount of sugar. Also, we were not able to get very ripe bananas. However, the muffins turned out well. Still a bit sweet to my taste, but the texture was perfect because I liked it soft. We forgot to add eggs, but this made the texture better. If you like smooth texture, do not add too much eggs. More eggs will make the texture rubbery or spongy. Another tip is having muffin tin is a must! We only had baking paper cups, and this was so flimsy making our muffin a bit of deformed.

Overall, the muffin we baked was great! The absence of eggs made it better! Next time I will cook this same recipe, I will not add eggs.

Baking cupcakes for beginners

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Baking is not as difficult as what I thought… as long as there is recipe to follow. However, there are times that recipes will not have the outcome you expect. All you have to do is to perform lots of baking experiments… find out what was wrong with the product and determine what can be done to achieve your desired result.

I followed the recipe from Wikihow but did some tweakings like lessen the amount of sugar. The ingredients and steps are as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 unbleached plain flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • salted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Add eggs.
  5. Add milk and vanilla.
  6. Fill each baking cup with the batter.
  7. Put it in the oven for 30 minutes.

The cupcakes that I baked turned out well. I am satisfied with the taste and texture. Though, I forgot to put the salt, it did not have that great impact to the cupcake.

One tip on baking cupcake is when your cupcake is a bit sweet, fret not! You may balance the taste by having frosting and toppings on your cupcake. Though I have already lessened the amount of sugar, I still find the cupcake I baked relatively sweet. So, a strawberry as toppings even out the sweet taste.

There you go! Happy baking! Next time, I will share with you a recipe on baking banana muffins.