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Now's Co-operative Newsletter
27 November 1999, #1

Dear all,

Nearly two months have twinkled by since the conference in Maebashi. my apologies for the delay in getting this going. I hope you will find this group useful.

It is my intention that this group serves as a forum for exchanging ideas about co-operative games and co-operative learning. If you have any questions, comments, ideas about co-operative games and learning please submit them. If you need an idea please ask. Let's do the best we can to help each other.

At the moment this group is very small. There are 12 of us. At the moment I am controlling this list. If you wish to be taken off this list please send me an email with your name and the phrase UNSUBSCRIBE ME FROM NOW!

I will post all submissions to the list. At the moment the list is held by me personally. Should we use an online list server such as topica? At the moment the list is closed. Should I make the addresses available to everyone on the list? Two questions to think about.

That's all for now,

Chris Hunt

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Game Design Sheet

This was given out at the cancer of Competition presentation but never discussed! The sheet poses a series of questions to aid game design.

I think it is important that games be an integral part of a lesson. I also think that games can be used to introduce new concepts and do not need to be confined to reviewing known material.

I believe that the same material should be presented in a variety of ways. We all have favoured methods of learning. This is the idea behind the concept of Multiple Intelligences. Some students may understand ideas presented visually. Others may relate to movement or music or even logic.

When I create lessons I not only want the students to encounter a balance of the different English skills - reading, writing, speaking etc, but also I want the students to encounter those skills through a variety of mediums.

>From a teacher's point of view a game should have a clear language target. But from a game designer's point of view the game should have a clear challenge. Without a challenge language games can often become little more than drills.

It is important that the relationship between the game challenge and the language target be examined. For example attempting to pass a ball around a group while practising a dialogue may not be so interesting. Tension can be added by requiring the group to complete the task within a given time limit. But if a time limit is introduced how does this affect the language target?

As an experiment try the following: Give the students a flashcard of an item. Get them to stand in a circle. Explain that they must pass a ball around the circle within an agreed time limit. A student with the ball says" I have a...(flashcard) and then passes the ball on. When the students have achieved this immediately play the game again, but this time the students need to say what item the next student in line has - "You have a..." Just how many students were actually listening to each other in the first game and how many were simply focused on the ball?

The best games integrate the language target and the game challenge together. I also think that the language targets should occur naturally. In the game described above there is no real reason for a student to say "I have a...." and accordingly there is no reason to listen to the statement either. But if the challenge became to discover what items were missing from a know list then there would be reasons for making the statement and listening to it. I think the language in games should be real.

When introducing students to a new game I avoid using the students' native language. Sometimes this means that a game is played in a different way from my original intention. I don't interfere with this process unless I realise that the interpretation the students have of the game won't work.

Comments? Suggestions? How could this design sheet be improved? Do you think it is a useful tool? I wanted it to fit onto one side of paper, but perhaps it should be expanded?

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Some Links:

Here are some links, I'm planning to add a links page to my own home page. So if you know of any interesting links please share them.

CO-OPS 4 Kids - http://www.coop.org/kids/kindex.html
Links to pages providing information about co-operatives for children and
teenagers.

Co-ops have values that kids share: they care about the environment, education, fairness, and building communities.

IASCE International Association for the study of Co-operation in Education
http://miavx1.muohio.edu/~iascecwis/#www%20information

IASCE is an international non - profit educational association dedicated to the study and practice of cooperation in education, a field that includes the increasingly popular cooperative classroom methods by which students work together in learning teams to master academic content and collaborative skills. Cooperation in education also includes teachers working together to support and coach each other, to develop and share curriculum materials, and to join with students, parents and other caregivers, and business and community leaders to improve the physical, social, and intellectual quality of their schools.

Kagan Co-operative Learning Online Newsletter
http://www.kagancooplearn.com/Newsletter/1099/index.html

Welcome to the Fall 1999 edition of Kagan Online News Magazine. It begins with a fascinating Note From Spencer analyzing the 17 Pros and 17 Cons of cooperative learning and providing 10 tips for success. Then Laurie talks about Change and the benefits of Processing. On the product front, Miguel, with help from author Laura Candler, introduces one of our newest books, Exploring the Rain Forest, MI and CL Activities. Nancy Murray brings you up to date on Kagan events across the country, and lets you know about hosting a Kagan event. And Laurie Kagan & Liz Warner present this quarter's structure: Mind Mapping. In a final article, Liz recommends some time-saving educational Internet links. I hope you enjoy this edition of Kagan Online News Magazine. Best wishes to you and yours from the staff at Kagan.

Todd Whitaker Editor,
Kagan Online News Magazine"

For the record:

This first newsletter came with an attachment - a game design sheet. Unfortunately I don't have a good copy of the attachment so I can't include it here.

Kagan used to have a nice newsletter but now it is too ephemeral. No back issues are available. As the latest issue comes out so the old issue disappears. I guess the idea is to encourage visitor's to the website but I find it irritating and some what unsocial.

This first newsletter had no formatting at all, it was just plain text. My signature included an email address, removed since it is long gone.

last updated: 5th August 2005

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