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How to improve cooperative work through play

Today I want to share with you in the blog Justify your answer an example of how to encourage cooperative work through the game in the classroom.

I do not know if it happened to you but, when you leave the race, you prepare the master’s degree and wait anxiously for the exams or openings of the bags … Look! As it happens, everything went super well and they call you for your first substitution. Now is the moment of collapse. You look at information, everything is new, it’s too much information … Keep reading: Example of argumentative text with a thesis

And now you only have to face the educational innovations so current in the current teaching landscape. Of course, you love these ideas, you see them as novel and that will revolutionize education. It was time!

But you are interested in knowing how to give your class next week. Everything is beautiful, but difficult to put into practice since you lack experience and ease in the classroom. That is why I hope that this article will serve to introduce you to the world of new methodologies without renouncing the playful nature of education.

Will you come with me? Well, we started.

What is cooperative work through the game?

From almost my beginnings as a teacher, I felt that even I was bored with the way I taught the lessons. I am a very dynamic, active and mocking person. That already in itself is an incentive for my classes to be entertaining, and they were, do not doubt it.

But, modesty aside, I was doing the same as my high school teachers. It is normal, we all learn first imitating what we know and then, from experience and experimentation, we create our own way and ways.

This is how I started to change things in my classroom. I wanted to be different for them and for me!

Now, it is not as simple as it seems. You must make many changes of the chip, eliminate old clichés and adopt new airs in your classroom.

I lived the moment of “if I try it and it does not work, I’ll take it”. It’s scary, yes, I do not doubt that. You are wrong, you analyze, you correct, you learn and you repeat. There is no other method.

Okay, yes. To train you, discover the best and get the best out of them. It is the same thing that we have commented before, before launching yourself into the void, you need a small safety net that will help you in that jump.

We will go by parts and from the most basic.

So, what is cooperative work through the game?

In this regard, Santiago has a lot to teach you in his Academy, and knowing how I know his courses I tell you since it is worth it.

For my part, I tell you that, since I discovered this type of work in the classroom, I have not stopped implementing it in my subjects. It is a way of organizing the classroom and the students very effective and much more practical. If you combine it with the Flipped Classroom you have a perfect way to reach any of your students, whatever the level.

We are not only talking about doing the work together, feeling a team. No, that’s not the only thing that this type of work method is about. We must go further.

You must make transformations in your class so that it works correctly.

The placement of the tables and of the students throughout the classroom, for example, is essential for the promotion of cooperative work.

But you must also assign a series of roles to each member and thus form the cooperative team. Each member must know what their role is with respect to their peers. They must discover what quality and/or ability they contribute most to the group and work accordingly for the good of all.

The fulfillment of the duties assigned to them according to the role, according to their abilities, should be the axis of cooperative work.

There are several people in a group, they are a team that works side by side and where the learning of all is the most important.

Let’s talk about cooperative work through play.

Increasingly you hear about APJ and gamification. But you have to be careful because a priori they are not the same.

So that you understand all these concepts well and do not extend this article, I leave you a couple of texts. The first is about the theory of gamification and the other a few tips that different teachers specialize in this learning strategy.

Well, companies, I (still) do not gamify, but what I do is use the game as a learning tool.

The big difference between both concepts is that the APJ uses the game within the classroom dynamics, while the gamification transforms the classroom through techniques and methods typical of the games. We talk about the own motivation that the games create, that hook that makes you very concentrated until you overcome the mission.

That, my friends, is to gamify.

Therefore, what I come to talk about today is Game-Based Learning, something very related but not the same.

We use games created or invented to treat the concepts or reach the competencies.
Learning is complemented by other techniques or methods.
The type of game must be alternated so that the expectation and motivation are maintained.
The games and dynamics are not related to each other, there is no common thread. That is, each game has its own objective that begins and ends with it.

What is called extrinsic motivation?

Well, as you have seen, I do not marry anyone, not even with an educational innovation. I really like to investigate and take the best of everything, combine and create something that perfectly suits me and my students.

And as an example of taking the step, of learning, of experiencing, I bring you my experience in the Latin of 4th of ESO.

This is what I usually find

  • Chaves of all levels in terms of grammar and syntax.
  • Students who love languages and the humanities and many others who flee the sciences.
  • A few that are there because it will be easier to approve without hitting the water.
  • A very complicated class situation, especially when what you intend to teach are vocabulary, declensions and translation.

It is the perfect time for the change

I started introducing the game in a very casual and natural way. Therefore, the logical next step for me was working for cooperative teams. And it is true, the translations worked in teams were much better in general and the kids understood them without pulling me by the hair.

But I did not stay there. I discovered how the Flipped Classroom combined perfectly with these two methods, and decided to implement them. It was much simpler if they read the theory at home and in class we worked together. I focused on those who had problems and those who understood it got over themselves with the help of others.

And yes, there were always games in between. What better way to learn than this!

Finally, if all the revolutions I had done in the classroom were not enough, this past year I started doing my classes in spoken Latin. This is how my students learn Latin, with all that I have told you, but as a modern language. Hallucinatory!

How to work in cooperative teams?

It seems like a lie, but in a few centers, you work in cooperative teams. It is a great change at all levels, but above all in a way to teach, and that almost nobody is willing to try. Luckily, there are more and more people who climb the car and we can already thank for it.

So there I am, with that hodgepodge of teenagers, tired of being in the ESO and that they have to give the Latin pain. Add then that they do not know how to cooperate and that I want them to do it.

I need to teach them from scratch what cooperative work means through the game, the bases, its dynamics.

And as a case they do little when they are not interested, I decided on a game. It does not happen to you that when you think something is going to enchant you, then it turns out that they go to their roll and everything happens? Well, that happened when I told them how I wanted them to work.

The solution was to teach and practice the cooperative work without them noticing, just putting new rules to a game that they already knew.

Learn the Roman provinces and create awareness of team roles

And here comes one of my favorite games during my adolescence, the Risk. We spent hours playing, there were even games of whole days. We took pictures of the board and put the pause to continue the next day.

The friendships that have been in danger because of this game!

Well, from the previous year he worked in the Roman provinces with the Risk game. A game where the tactics of conquest are mixed with dice, cards and alliances.

During unit 1 my students are soldiers of Hispania, people who do not know the Roman culture that has just conquered them. They must pass a military training before they can go to battle, which for my children are the alphabet, reading, basic vocabulary and construction with the verb SUM.

Once they are militant , they are summoned to the front as there is an uprising at some point in the Empire.

Therefore they take their weapons, and with their legion they go to battle. A legion is a formation where hierarchy and command roles are very marked, perfect for them to assume positions and functions within their cooperative team.

And I had it: the Risk, the military strategy and the commands within the army would help me introduce the cooperative work.

I only had the how and everything was ready. They would play one or two days to the normal version, learning not only the provinces but to establish strategies among all. Even assimilating the rules of the game and developing the ability to analyze problems and possible actions.

And the next session would introduce some letters where they are assigned a role, with their rights and obligations regarding the cooperative team. Of course, without leaving the military theme and the legion, of course!

And we can go further, there may be a final session where we put the competition between teams even heavier: if a member of the other team does something that does not go with his role, the opposing team may be penalized.

In short, these are the objectives of this game:

  • Learn the most important provinces of the Roman territory.
  • Develop the ability to analyze and solve problems with various aspects.
  • Learn and internalize the routines of cooperative work.
  • Respect in the competition and assessment of the result of teamwork.
  • It is not my goal that they know how to play well or that they are machines in this game. Therefore, I do not care if the game ends or there is a winner.

Personally I give you a very important advice: never lose sight of the objectives you pursue. You might also read: