Kagan Structures for Active Engagement

Level 1: Cooperative Learning – It’s all about active engagement!

Oral Language

Every student talking every time

Key Competencies

Integrate the NZC Front-End

Engagement & Achievement

Attention equals retention

Social Skills

Character and Values education


Kagan Structures for Active Engagement is our flagship workshop, and is based on the book that started it all – Kagan Cooperative Learning. Kagan Structures produce revolutionary positive results. Many NZ teachers and schools now use Kagan Structures to raise academic achievement, increase student discourse, support Priority Learners, reduce discipline problems, develop students’ social skills and character virtues, and create a positive and inclusive classroom atmosphere. If oral language is a focus, then Kagan is the best vehicle to develop and provide multiple opportunities for every student to share and contribute every time.

All of our workshops are delivered using many of the 250 plus Kagan Structures. Cooperative Learning Level 1 is our basic workshop and comprises 4-5 days in total. Days can be taken separately as they stand on their own, although they need to be taken sequentially. We offer one or two academies a year, where you can do all days at once – great fun!

While we have events coming up, you can also book us for your school TODs. Talk to us about your requirements asap as the good dates always fill up fast.

Workshop Outcomes

At this practical workshop you will learn how to:

  • use PIES to determine if its group work or cooperative learning
  • provide a brain-friendly programme
  • use Kagan Structures to further enhance your culturally-responsive classroom
  • raise student achievement through higher levels of engagement, participation and accountability
  • create effective student learning teams
  • integrate social skills and character education throughout your programme
  • develop and practice oral language skills for all students
  • build an inclusive and safe environment where students feel a sense of belonging
  • support your Priority Learners through setting up a support network in your room and across the school
  • effectively structure interactions between students, and students and the task
  • ensure equal participation and equity for all students
  • deliver all curriculum areas including the Key Competencies using Kagan Structures

You’ll leave with a toolbox full of Kagan Structures, proven strategies that are easy to use tomorrow and for a lifetime.

Workshop Materials

You will receive:

  • Kagan Cooperative Learning text (Day 1 only)
  • Workshop binder if Day 1 of more
  • Workshop handout or binder insert
Promo Material
Upcoming Events

2017 – Auckland

Wednesday 10th May 8.30am-3.45pm

Kagan Structures for Active Engagement Day 1

$120+GST pp

Early Bird $108+GST pp Book by 13th April

National Library of NZ, Stanley St, Auckland

Host a Kagan Workshop at your school

1-20 participants $1500 plus

Talk to us

21-50 participants $1500 plus

Talk to us

51-99 participants $1600 plus

Talk to us
  • These prices are for school-hosted workshops
  • Kagan Structures Day 1 requires each person to purchase the Kagan Cooperative Learning book which retails for $75. However, our 2017 workshop special price is $62 – a saving of $13 per person!
  • Teacher Aides attending training with their school are not required to purchase the Kagan Cooperative Learning text
  • All prices include the workshop workbook (and binder and inserts where applicable)
  • Prices details: Base-fee plus the per person price, plus the Kagan Cooperative Learning book for Day 1 only
  • Book more than one day for the year (ie Days 1 and 2) and receive 10% discount
  • All prices are exclusive of GST (NB The Kagan Cooperative Learning text at $62 is GST inclusive)

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new to Kagan - where do I start?

No matter what year level you teach, we would always advocate that teachers start with Day 1 Kagan Structures for Active Engagement Level 1, Cooperative Learning. We believe that full engagement for all students along with a safe, brain-friendly and inclusive classroom, are crucial to student achievement, so Day 1 is all about setting up your room for that to happen.

If you have the opportunity to do Days 1 and 2 together, that would last you for a year – unless you’re so passionate after Day 1, you just can’t wait to do them all! We have quite a few teachers hanging out to do just that.

Once you have done at least Day 1, there are numerous curriculum specific workshops, along with Win-Win Discipline and Brain-Friendly Teaching you might consider, as the last two in particular are right up there with Kagan Cooperative Learning. Actually, all our workshops are amazing – we are totally addicted!

I did cooperative learning years ago. How is Kagan different?

We did cooperative learning years ago too, and found it cumbersome to manage and didn’t involve all students – it was group work. When we came across the Kagan approach – hallelujah!

Spencer Kagan developed the structural approach where student interactions are structured throughout the day, versus the role card type cooperative learning where you do cooperative learning lessons with each student having a role like Recorder or Praiser etc. Kagan Structures are content-free and can be used with any age group, any curriculum, any culture, and any language.

Kagan is also different in that it is very holistic. Fundamental to our programme is creating the right environment for learning to occur and for all students to flourish academically, socially and emotionally. It is our mission that every student in NZ schools feels needed, accepted, included, connected, respected, visible, supported and challenged.

Kagan is 21st Century pedagogy in that Kagan Structures are brain-friendly strategies, teamwork is integral to success, and higher level thinking, and social and communication skills are taught, practiced and applied seamlessly throughout the day.

Another aspect of Kagan that sets us apart, is that because it can be used at any level, transitioning students is a breeze (from class to class, school to school, and year to year), and training teachers can occur across a whole school district or CoL at the same time – how much shared pedagogy do you want?

Here at Kagan NZ we are all teachers (except for Allan and he is purely administrative) so we understand schools. we know how hard it can be at times, but also how rewarding.

To support uptake and implementation, we offer ongoing support, modelling, coaching, leadership training, and cross-curricular workshops, as well as curriculum-specific trainings.

On top of that, we are about to offer PRT training beginning in 2017!

If you have any more ideas for how else we might help, we are all ears.


I'm a Beginning Teacher. Will attending a Kagan workshop be useful for me?

Yes it certainly will! We have had many new teachers attend our trainings and say they learned more practical ideas with us in a day than during their training. The great thing about new teachers, is there is no unlearning to be done! You will learn how to engage all students including your Priority Learners, teach and practice the Key Competencies, set up effective student learning teams, manage your class, and ensure no student can hide their way through the year.

We are so convinced that Kagan is the best thing for new teachers, we are setting up a 2 year PRT programme where we will cover the following:

Student Engagement; Cooperative Learning; Classroom Management; Behaviour Management; Learning Teams; Assessment; Planning; All NZC Curriculum Areas esp Literacy and Maths; Key Competencies and Values; Reporting; Time Management; Managing Parents; Supporting Priority Learners; IT; Brain-Friendly Teaching; plus more…!

Kagan Coaching and mentoring will be part of the programme, including Tutor Teacher selection and training.

If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on developments, email: jennie@kagan.nz

As a principal, will I benefit from attending a workshop?

Absolutely! There are a number of reasons why we believe this.

Firstly, because research (and the MOE) advocates that all school leaders should attend PLD with their staff.

Your attendance will allow you to model best practice for your teachers by using Kagan at staff meetings. Not only to engage your staff, but to also build and maintain positive and trusting relationships across your school. Our workshop, Build School Culture with Cooperative Meetings would also further support this.

Another benefit to you is that when you are visiting classrooms, you will understand exactly what is happening (or not) around student engagement and how the teacher is supporting all learners. Very powerful knowledge!

If you are a Lead Principal for your CoL, Kagan Structures are fantastic for creating full cooperation and collaboration.

We are also so convinced that Kagan is the best thing for new teachers, we are setting up a 2 year PRT programme where we will cover the following:

Student Engagement; Cooperative Learning; Classroom Management; Behaviour Management; Learning Teams; Assessment; Planning; All NZC Curriculum Areas esp Literacy and Maths; Key Competencies and Values; Reporting; Time Management; Managing Parents; Supporting Priority Learners; IT; Brain-Friendly Teaching; plus more…!

Kagan Coaching and mentoring will be part of the programme, including Tutor Teacher selection and training.

If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on developments, email: jennie@kagan.nz

I'm a Junior teacher - can I use Kagan with Juniors?

If you believe your young students need to develop their oral language and social skills such as sharing, taking turns, listening to others, asking for and giving help, using quiet voices etc, then Kagan Structures will help with all of that. Yes there are structures that rely on ‘writing’, but they can be easily adapted for juniors by replaving writing with pasting, drawing or selecting.

I work in an MLE - how does Kagan work in that context?

Can I say fabulously?

Let’s think of what happens in an MLE. Students are assigned to a ‘home room’ and may shift throughout the day to other teachers, work in groups or pairs or move to break out spaces. We areb’t here to tell you how you must set up your MLE to fit with Kagan. What we do say, is any time you want students interacting, you can use a Kagan Structure to ensure their is equal participation and individual accountability.

Ideally, all teachers have been trained in Kagan, allowing curriculum delivery to be consistant across the MLE, which makes for smooth transitions and provides great support for Priority Learners. If every teacher is using Kagan teams and structures, along with classbuilding and teambuilding, the whole MLE becomes a very cohesive and connected space. Where some students might become invisible within a large number of students, Kagan will ensure they are supported, scaffolded, and visible.

We can’t express enough how important it is that teacher expectations around social and communication skills, and behaviour are the same across the MLE, and Kagan is an approach that will facilitate that.

Having interviewed students in an MLE about Kagan, they appreciated the fact that they worked with students they would normally never choose to work with and developed respect, empathy and tolerance because of that. Allowing students to choose who they work with, does not ensure diversity and create an inclusive environment. Many teachers are surprised that students they thought had excellent social skills, actually don’t once they are placed with ESOL or Special Needs students for example.

Finally, as we know, no MLE is the same as the other, so there will always be things you will need to problem-solve with your team, but we are more than happy to help in any way we can.

We are a digital environment - does Kagan work in that situation?

Yes. In a nultshell, digital fluency requires students to be able to discuss choices and justify decisions, communicate with each other, work collaboratively, present and share their work, and be appreciative of others opinions and ideas.

Any time you have students interacting with each other, that is where Kagan comes in. Kagan Structures are communication regulators designed to ensure every student particiates and contributes every time. We also set up the learning environment so that students feel safe to voice their thoughts and opinions, ask for help, take risks, work with anyone, and develop key values and social skills.

Teamwork, and being able to work with others despite their ability, language, sex, or culture are fundamental components of a 21st century work environment. Isn’t it up to schools to create that same environment for our students before sending them out into the real world? Kagan can help with that.

Does Kagan work for the Secondary sector?

In a nutshell, yes! Kagan Structures are content-free so you can add your content to any one of our 250 plus structures.

As students move through the schooling system, the achievement gap increases, so they arrive at high school not only with many learning gaps but also highly skilled at hiding their way through the day.

As you know, teenagers also have very different emotional needs from primary students, making it even more important that we engage them fully, create positive relationships with their classmates and teachers, and develop critical values such as tolerance, patience, respect and kindness – aside from all the academic benefits!

Some of you will already have students arriving who have been in a Kagan classroom, so by you using Kagan Structures as well, this will facilitate curriculum delivery, classroom management and culture, and transition Priority Learners safely and effectively.

If you are a secondary school leader reading this, and you’re wondering where to start given your large number of teachers, why don’t you start with the Year 9 teachers? This way, the students won’t know any different, and Kagan will create a supportive, yet effective, learning environment for them. As they move onto Year 10, those teachers would be next to be trained and so on. Just a thought.

What other support do you offer?

We offer Kagan Coaching following a workshop around structures from that workshop. We can coach around 14 teachers a day and expect that senior leadership will join us for the day. Coaching ensures correct implementation of structures and guarantees uptake with support.

We also provide planning sessions with teachers and strategic and implementation planning with school leaders.

Setting up Structure-a-Month Clubs after the whole school has completed at least Days 1 and 2 is also offered.

We are currently developing a two year PRT programme as well ( see ‘Beginning Teacher’ question). If you would like more information around this, please email us at: jennie@kagan.nz or call Jennie on 0274944600.

What about Kagan resources? What ones do we need?

We require everyone to buy the Kagan Coopertative Learning book (BKCL) on Day 1 Kagan Structures for Active Engagement. It is no use attending the training if you don’t have the key resource to refer to later. This book is extremely comprehensive and we know how hard it is to remember everything from the workshop, but this book will fill all those gaps for you – and more!

Many of our workshops are based on a Kagan text, so we do require those texts to be purchased as well. We always offer a special workshop rate, and price our workshops accordingly, so the combined price is still around the same as other PLD.

You don’t need to buy every resource, but we would definitely recommend the following:

Silly Sports and Goofy Games; Team Mats; Structures for Classbuilding; Structures for Teambuilding; Kagan Cooperative Learning (if doing a different workshop); Structure Posters; Megatimer if you don’t have a visible timer.

Many of our curriculum specific resources are amazing, but you may want to look through them first. We don’t send out on approval, but we are more than happy to bring resources to you, as we don’t have a show room at this stage…one day maybe.

If you live out of Auckland, just call us and we can discuss options or take pics of pages to give you an idea of what’s inside.

How many teachers can you train at once?

Great question! We can train as many teachers as the venue will allow with everyone seated cafe-style, and still able to see the screen/s and hear the presenter. The most Jennie has trained is 132 so far, but in other countries, they do trainings up to 300 and more.

Ideally, 80 to 120 is a lovely number, but we are flexible around meeting your requirements.

We had some training from our RTLB - should I still attend a workshop?

Yes it certainly will! Firstly, RTLB are not trained or certified to conduct Kagan trainings, and are actually breaching copyright and infringing on Kagan’s Intellectual Property Rights. Hmmmmmm.

Secondly, would you rather learn from a trainer who has used Kagan Structures with students, can model for you if needed, and has been trained by Laurie Kagan, and is continuing to train in the USA every year?

Thirdly, a 45 minute session on Kagan would consist of  showing you a few ‘tricks’ and is only ever meant as a taster session, which will never replicate the benefits of a full day workshop.

And finally, changing teacher pedagogy requires a whole lot more than a session at a staff meeting – don’t you think? The issue for us is that the students don’t get to receive the full benefits from their teacher attending proper training, along with ongoing support such as coaching and implementation planning.

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