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Set Up Your Cooperative Groups by Doing This

Each time I begin a year, we practice these expectations.

Number 1. We talk about how sharing materials could go badly–scattering materials, sharing germs, not everyone’s hand can fit in the container, etc.

Number 2. We practice saying all of these rules several times so that students get accustomed to saying these words and have this tool in their tool chest of ways to interact with peers.

Number 3. I let the students discuss how they will settle a disagreement. Most students arrive at Rock Paper Scissors as being the best way to solve disagreements. Students also say things like that they could talk out whose ideas was the best. I also mention who has the birthday closest to today, who is closer to the floor (shorter), closest to the ceiling (taller).

After we have talked over all of these rules, we practice saying them first thing in class for several class periods. Before long there are very few disagreements or problems among students.

I hope this helps your cooperative groups run more smoothly, too!

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