The Kagan cooperative approach to learning primarily relies on carefully-structuring interactions between mixed-achieving teams of four to make sure everyone is engaged with their learning.
Each child on the table has a number from 1 to 4, which is used when randomly selecting a pupil to go first, to perform a task, etc.
One of the silly annoyances I found with this was that my class didn’t divide easily by 4. This meant I had one team of three, and other teachers might well end up with a couple of teams of five.
How could I easily select the number 4 child on a table to do something without having to waste time then going to my one table of three and giving them a different instruction??? It sounded silly, but it really irritated me!
Anyhow, I got to go to a day-long course on the Kagan approach, and of all my questions this was perhaps the easiest fix:
Although it has to be bought, Kagan offers a selector tool where there are rings that correspond to different-sized tables. The inner red circle would be for a group of two, the white ring would be for a group of three, the red ring is for a group of four, and the outer ring is for a group of five.
So, once you have trained your children which ring their team needs to look at, you can simply click spin and you’ll get a randomly-chosen number that will work for each team! It sounds so silly but I thought this was such a simple fix to the issue I had.
If you can’t afford to splurge the money for the Kagan selector tools, I wonder if it would be possible to make a physical wheel spinner?