6 ideas for Forming Effective Student Teams and Groups

I have been working teachers and their year 7 students. They have been working in literature circle groups and others on some research activities.
It is interesting watching the dynamics and how different groups and classes perform their tasks. It is easy to put students into groups but creating effective student groups takes a bit more work.

I liked the following infographic by Mia MacMeekin as it offers a few ideas to help assist teachers to make groups more productive but still student lead. It is logical and not really new but it helps to remind us that these form a range of the approaches, particularly useful as “one-size never fits all.”

There are 6 Tips For Creating Effective Student Groups

  1. Create a ZPD Zone. This refers to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal development. He frames student ability in terms of developmental range. This is different for each student and understanding the different ranges for the students can assist in making decisions about the groups.
  2. Cognitive Dissonance is Good. Encourage the student to stretch themselves beyond what is comfortable
  3. Numbers Count. (4-6 being optimum)
  4. Praise and recognition of good group behaviours)
  5. Give Them Something to Do. Use the PBL (Problem-based learning) approach which works well in a group setting allowing for different knowledge and strengths of all in the group.
  6. Facilitate the team bonding by assisting in the initial brainstorming activity. The trust that comes with good team bonding allows everyone a voice and participation by all.

An Ethical Island

1 Step in the Process:

studentgroups
Creative Commons License
This work by Mia MacMeekin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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