I love summertime! It gives me a chance to recharge, reflect, and revamp for the coming school year. With my move from 1st to 4th grade, I feel even more motivated to reflect on my teaching practices and make some adjustments! This week I’ve been considering some of my tried and true classroom management strategies. I pulled out these old, hand-drawn cooperative grouping cards. Though they are tattered and worn, this is a management tool I’m not ready to throw out because it works
so well. So, instead- I decided to give them a much-needed makeover!
When cards are passed out, the groups can be separated by color, number or letter. I love this because when I pass out the cards, students don’t immediately know which group they will be in. It also gives me a secret way of separating students that I don’t want to be in a group together. (Hey, you know you’ve done it too!)
The picture on each card assigns the student to a role for the activity. I find that it is important to take time at the beginning of the year to train students on my expectations for each of these roles. Once the procedures and expectations are in place, this grouping strategy runs like clockwork!
My expectations are as follows:
Supplier- gathers, maintains, collects and returns all supplies for the group
Leader- keeps everyone organized, guides the group to complete the task correctly
Writer- acts as scribe and/or illustrator during group work
Time Keeper- keeps all members on task, assures the task is completed on time
*Most importantly I expect that everyone contributes their thoughts and ideas to support the group’s work for the duration of the activity.