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Ponca City teachers receive Kagan training

Ponca City Now - April 11, 2019 11:28 am

Front row from left are Morgan Smith (Kindergarten teacher at Liberty) and Heather Spurrier (third grade teacher at Roosevelt). Back row, Diane Green (first grade at Trout) and Holly Stein (second grade at Trout).

The Ponca City Public School Curriculum Department offered Kagan Brain Friendly Learning Training to Prekindergarten through 12th grade teachers on one of the district’s Professional Development days.

The PCPS district was part of Kagan’s Winter Tour, hosting a location for teachers to sign up for the opportunity from around the country.

Kagan Cooperative Learning is a program developed by Spencer Kagan. Cooperative Learning is all about engagement.

Kagan training allows teachers to learn how to engage students by using “structures.” Many parents in the community may have heard their child talk about some of the more popular structures developed by Kagan such as: Round Robin, Inside-Outside Circle, Match Mine, and Quiz-Quiz Trade. These Kagan Structures, and many more, are used around the world from PreK to adult education, in all academic subject areas to boost student engagement and learning.

When students are engaged, they pay attention, they are motivated, they learn from each other, they are moving more, and concepts are retained. The biggest difference between the Kagan approach and teaching using traditional methods is the ability to engage every student.

Traditional classroom teaching captures the minds and attention of some students, but not all. Many times in a traditional classroom the teacher does all the talking. Students are merely expected to absorb information.

In a Kagan classroom, students are placed in heterogeneous learning groups, and they are actively moving around the classroom, sharing their learning with peers, talking to classmates about content, and learning from each other.

In a traditional classroom, only a few students are called on to answer questions, which does not allow the teacher to really know if all students understand the content.

Through the use of Kagan structures, students interact more with their peers. The more they interact with their peers and with the curriculum, the more they will learn. Kagan Structures require every student to participate frequently and equally.

Fifty teachers and two administrators attended the training and all enjoyed the content and knowledge gained. The PCPS district believes in training teachers and providing them with the strategies and expertise to produce the best possible teacher for the classroom. Providing training and materials for teachers in the district is just one of the ways teachers are supported by the district.

 

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