When we are working on our Explode the Code books, some kids often finish the section we are working on before others, so I have them find someone who isn’t finished to help. I was helping someone and Jackson walked up to Oscar just across the table from me and I encouraged him to maybe help Oscar out a bit on his last couple of pages. Jackson and Oscar don’t always see eye-to-eye but he sat down without protest. As I was making letter sounds from the book and helping out, I could hear Jackson doing the same – not giving out answers but pointing to pictures and making the sounds of their first letter and then waiting for Oscar to find the corresponding letter. He was right on with his technique and they were both so focused on the work. A few minutes passed and Jackson leaned over Oscar and asked in all earnestness, “Do you like me to teach you.” And Oscar happily replied, “yeah!” And they were both just beaming. And my heart was thump, thumping. Oh, the beauty of cooperative learning.

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