Things for Teachers

Post(s) tagged with "cooperative learning"

Free Tech for Teachers: ConceptBoard ⇢

There are many ways for teams of students to collaborate online and here’s another promising one. Conceptboard is a service that provides an online whiteboard space that you can use to share drawings, documents, spreadsheets, and more. 

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How I choose groups (and group roles) for small assignments

Note: I stole this idea from my cooperating teacher during student teaching, so I do not take credit for it!

Why I use this: I used this strategy today as my students worked in groups for a brief, 15-20 minute assignment. With these assignments, I don’t want to necessarily put the time in and outside of class assigning students to groups; however, I don’t want them to choose their own groups, either (for reasons I am sure all teachers have grappled with).

How I do it: I have a stack of index cards that I utilize throughout the year. I label them as such: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3a, 3b… and so on. I think I have through 7 this year (depending on how many students you have in class.)

When students walk in at the beginning of class, they are handed one of these index cards. Now, you may have to take some time the first time you do this to explain it to them, but my students now know where 1s sit, where 2s sit, where 3s sit, where 4s sit- so they find their seats accordingly as they come into the room. All the 1s are in a group, all the 2s are in a group, etc.

I also use the letters to assign roles to different group members, since each group will have an a, b, c, and d. (For example, a is the recorder, b gathers materials…)

Reasons I like this:

  • My students know what group they are in without me wasting class time assigning groups.
  • It doesn’t seem like I have assigned groups- it seems like I am randomly giving out numbers- but as students walk in, I make a mental note of which card numbers I give to certain students. This way, I can ensure that certain students are not working with one another, or that certain students are working with one another.
Grouping Kids Easily ⇢

A teacher describes how he groups students this year.

For example this year every kids has a number group, color group, shoe group, shape group, president group, and state group. Then under each group I have the labels that divide the kids. So with the state group, some kids are Pennsylvania or New Jersey, others are New York or West Virginia. When I say meet with your color group, everyone is already divide and they meet quickly. Each of the groups is a mix of different classmates, so that all kids learn to work together.

Assigning Students to Small Groups ⇢


Some great advice from Natalie Houston on assigning students to small groups.

I’ve used the letter+number system before and it works out pretty well.


Who I am: A fourth year high school history teacher at an urban(ish) high school in New Jersey.

What I blog about: Stuff related to education I like, and stuff I hope can help other teachers out. Technology, deals on supplies, helpful books. My focus lately is on educational technology & related resources. Occasionally, I also post things related to education reform. Because I post articles that I feel will be of interest to teachers with varying views, the political-related posts made here do not necessarily reflect my beliefs or opinions, nor do they reflect the beliefs of my employer.

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