Cooperative Groups are important for many reasons. They teach students to work together, to be independent, to have a job, to be responsible, to be accountable for their own learning, and to complete a bigger task by each doing their own jobs.
I wasn't too familiar with cooperative groups until I started the National Board's process 4 years ago. I learned a lot about them through that process and also how important they are. Last week was a busy crazy week, but to finish up talking about Winter, we did a Winter Words Beginning Sound Sort Cooperative Group.
We reviewed what beginning sounds were and sorted some pictures on the SMART Board first. I had all of their materials in a huge Ziploc already. Being prepared is super important with cooperative groups. In their bags they had, glue sticks, scissors, and their name tags. The name tags make them feel important and remind them of what their job is. I picked their jobs ahead of time and had them written on an index card inside the bag. For this activity I had 2 gluers, 1 cutter and 1 sorter. The Cutter cut the pictures apart, then passed them to the sorter who put them in the correct box and then a gluer glued them on. Right now I have them working in their table groups instead of different groups. Some of the groups have 2, some have 3, some have 4. We worked the jobs out based on that. Some people had to have 2 jobs, which was totally manageable in this instance.
Before anyone started their job, I called out each job and had them stand and they did a little "pledge." I usually just make it up as I go, but something like "I am a cutter, my job is to cut, I will cut our pictures out, on the lines, to the best of my ability, so that I won't let my group down." Then we clap for each job. Gives everyone a sense of being important and I love that!
Here are some pictures of our activity.
This fun activity can be found here:
If you need cooperative group badges those can be found here:
Are you still with me? How about a giveaway for both packs? Enter below and I'll choose a winner! :)