Teachers know the importance of having their lesson plans curated so they engage students, instruct, and assess. Teachers also know the importance of structure, clear directions, and expectations for students at each point, as a rationale or reason why the work is important.
These same principles are utilized when engaging in cooperative learning.
Cooperative learning takes the focus off the teacher and places it on the students. The expectations shift, as students rely on each other to help piece together the process.
Before we look at the best ways to utilize this effective way of instruction, we need make sure students understand what’s expected of them in this type of classroom learning. These are the promises your students will make before they are assigned any individual roles within the group:
Ground Rules for Group Work
- Support Your Teammates
- Contribute Ideas
- Listen Carefully to Others
- Build on the Ideas of Others
- Keep on Task
- Have a Positive Attitude
- Help Clean Up the Classroom Afterwards
These are the guidelines that stay consistent no matter what the overall assignment may be. It can be helpful to post these Group Work Guidelines somewhere in the classroom at all times.
Now that students are ready for cooperative learning, we can take a look at the key components to any group assignment.