Group Time!

Friday, February 5, 2016
tips for setting up small groups, creating groups, students working in small groups

I hope you had an amazing week with your students. Did you have your students work in groups this week? Groups can work in your classroom, students do benefit from working with others, and most students enjoy working in small groups.

1) Rule Reminders: Teaching students how to work in groups is especially beneficial to successful groups. I would teach students how groups should look at the beginning of the year, and then give reminders of “the rules” each time there are group activities. We get tired of repeating ourselves, but sometimes it's necessary for things to go smoothly.

2) Be a Wanderer & Encourager: Let’s be honest. Many times I would assign groups and then sit at my desk to get my paperwork completed. But it’s important for the teacher to wander around listening to groups interact, redirecting as needed, and answering questions as needed. There were instances where I would be asked a question by one person. I would ask that student if they spoke to their group first about their question. If the answer was no, then I would have them pose the question to the group. This helps teach the students to work together first and then seek outside help. Encourage them to work WITH their group or partner.

3) How to Choose: Whenever you mention the words, "We are going to get into groups." Students start looking at their friend like this.

Letting students decide on their groups can be potentially dangerous. It's possible that it would work. Usually, someone is left out, feelings are hurt, work is not completed because it's social hour, and so on. There are many ways to choose groups. Get creative! You can download my 10 Ways to Make Groups by clicking here or on the image below.
making groups

What creative ways do you use to group students?

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