Managing Groups in the Classroom
Group work can establish many things inside of the classroom. Some students work best while they are working with their classmates in a group setting. It helps when they have the ability to voice their own personal opinions and display what they think in a smaller setting rather than speaking in front of the entire class. Cooperative groups work best when the students are not grouped by intellectual abilities, groups work the best when they are grouped on common factors; ex. favorite color or birthday.
When students are placed in a group based on learning abilities the students know this. Children are smarter than the teacher sometimes gives them credit. When they are grouped by ability the groups with the children that are not as advanced tend to not do anything because they know that the other group will always have the correct or better answer. When groups are evenly separated this helps the child’s ability because the children tend to teach their own piers. While doing group work the teacher should always have each group have a scribe that is delegated to take notes and be able to recap to the class what the group discussed. Knowing that they will have to share with the entire class generally keeps the group on topic and doing what they should be doing. Sometimes it is best to break a lesson into smaller pieces and then assign a section to each group in the class and let the students break it down and analyze it. After they are done doing that you can have the group explain what they thought and their ideas to the entire class. Sometimes students have a different way of learning that makes a lot of sense to them at their current age and is sometimes a little different that how a teacher may present the information.
The job of a teacher in a cooperative classroom is to guide and mold the learning experiences of your students. If the job is done correctly, you will work smarter, not harder, as you realize that you can...