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What do Co-Teaching and Sports Cars Have in Common?

Learn about a cooperative learning structure called Corners for Your Classroom.    

At a recent SERC workshop on co-teaching, teachers from districts across the state participated in a cooperative learning structure called Corners, developed by Kagan Publishing and Professional Development (1995). Corners is a quick and easy activity that helps participants see a variety of viewpoints, and helps them examine a topic in ways they might not previously have considered.

How It Works

The group facilitator provides a topic and announces four alternatives related to the topic. Each of these is represented by a corner of the room. Participants are told to make a selection, write it down, and go to the corner of the room that represents their choice. They then discuss why they made the selection they did with those who chose the same corner. You can also use Corners with your students.

Participants in the SERC workshop were given these choices:

Co-Teaching is Like

  • driving a motorcycle
  • driving a luxury sedan
  • driving a minivan
  • driving a sports car.

Through the activity they explored many aspects of co-teaching – some of the observations were predictable, and some not so! Here were the responses:  

Co-Teaching is like driving a motorcycle because:
  • It involves risks
  • It takes balance
  • It can go places a car can’t
  • It is exciting and different
  • Sometimes you drive, sometimes you ride
  • You need to polish the chrome – skills
  • You need safety gear – planning
  • You need a license – certification
  • You get windblown
  • You need to be careful on bumpy road
Co-Teaching is like driving a luxury sedan because:
  • Two teachers in one class = luxury
  • There’s more collaboration
  • You “drive” slowly at first, until comfy
  • Similar groups
  • There are more “options”
  • It’s a smoother ride
  • It will be missed when it is gone
  • It’s roomier because of content
  • You cover more “road”
Co-Teaching is like driving a minivan because: 
  • It’s one big happy family
  • Everyone’s on board
  • It satisfies everyone’s needs
  • There are different entry points
  • There’s a tour director
  • It’s a journey we take together
  • It’s a large space with room to grow and learn for teachers and students
  • Seats are adjustable
  • It uses multi-media
  • There are two front seats
  • There’s a view of the road ahead

Co-Teaching is like driving a sports car because:

  • There’s a lot of stuff in a small space, and time is short
  • You have radar but need to be alert
  • It’s fun zooming around together
  • You’re always shifting gears
  • It’s “open” to fresh air and new ideas
  • You’ll have to make pit stops along the way
  • There are lots of “models” to choose from
  • There’s room for 2
  • You feel energized with the performance
  • It’s something you have always wanted and finally are grown up enough to have!


Corners for Your Classroom

Corners (Kagan, 1995) helps students realize that there are multiple ways of thinking about a topic and promotes an appreciation of individual differences. It helps students to become comfortable expressing their viewpoints and exposes them to others’ reasoning processes. In addition, it provides a structure for students to interact with others that they may not normally interact with.



Teachers announce topic and 4 choices for corners

  1. Students make selection and write it down
  2. Students go to corners
  3. Students pair off and discuss

Ideas for the classroom

Corners can be used in any subject, for a variety of grade levels, to provoke thought. Some ideas include:

Language Arts

  • My favorite…
  • Character from a book the class has read
  • Literary device


  • I would rather be…
  • Careers in scientific fields
  • States of matter

Social Studies

  • My favorite…
  • State/Country/Region
  • Type of government


  • I am/have…
  • Shapes
  • Problem-solving method


Kagan, M., Robertson, L., & Kagan, S. (1995). Cooperative Learning Structures for Classbuilding. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Cooperative Learning.

Additional Info

  • Resource Topic: Co-Teaching
  • Source: SERC
  • Year of Publication: 2004
  • Resource Type: Article (web page)