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Cooperative Learning Strategies

Written by The Resourceful Teacher. Posted in Classroom Management

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Ever have difficulty getting your kids to work cooperatively in groups?  Getting tired of putting out multiples fires at once from your groups bickering over who’s going to color the frog on the poster (or any other animal, really).   

Here’s a solution I have to assist in helping students focus more on being productive rather than arguing with friends.   Assign a “role” to everyone in the group.  When each group member has a role, the student knows what he/she is responsible for, and you don’t have the members fighting over who’s in charge.

Here is a list of various group roles I assign and their job descriptions:

  • Leader - responsible for solving problems in your group.  Encourage students to try solving problems on their own and if their method doesn’t work, seek assistance from you.
  • Artistic Director - responsible for the completion of any and all art that is produced from the group.  The artistic director does not have to do all the art work by themselves, but they are responsible for delegating duties and making sure everyone’s artistic ideas are heard among the group.
  • Writer - responsible for any writing that needs to be done... this is usually the person with the neatest writing within the group.
  • Task Monitor - responsibilities include making sure everyone in the group is on task or redirecting off-task students.
  • Material Monitor - responsible for getting any and all supplies needed for your group.

Every group member is responsible for contributing ideas to the group and no one should be sitting around, waiting for something to work on.  This method won’t eliminate all of the issues that come up during group learning, but it will help tremendously.

To learn more about cooperative learning strategies, visit these sites: