Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cooperative Learning

We routinely do group activities and assignments in my classroom, and every year, there tends to be a few students who stand out as leaders and a few others who are happy to sit back let the others do the work. From my own experiences in school, I remember just how frustrating this process could be, yet I know how important it is for students to learn how to work productively together. As a result, I often use role cards in group tasks -- especially if the task is one that will last for more than a few minutes.

There are 6 jobs that I use off and on.
  1. Production Manager - functionally the "leader" of the group who has to make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to. This is also the only person who is able to come and ask me questions throughout the task when the group gets stuck.
  2. Social Manager - troubleshoots disputes between group members and makes sure everyone is being included.
  3. Resource Manager - gets all the supplies for the group and makes sure everything gets put away at the end.
  4. Information Manager - does research or divides up the research tasks; decides how the information will be communicated.
  5. Time Keeper - keeps track of time; creates internal deadlines and time goals to make sure that the group is on track to finish before the official deadline
  6. Technology Specialist - the person in charge of technology for the group; either uses the tech or delegates tasks to others.
I don't use every job for every assignment -- it depends on what the activity is, how many students are in the group, etc. I also try to make sure that I mix up what roles they have in the group so it's not the same student always being the technology specialist, for example. I've found that by making these roles and responsibilities more explicit, everyone participates more and it alleviates some of the drama that comes along with group work.

I have some really basic (translate: ugly) cards that I've been using since my first year of teaching that assigns the job and outlines the responsibilities for each job, and I decided to spruce them up a bit to make them more fun. I ended up making three sets:

Winter Monsters
Super Elfkins

Racing Elfkins
Each set has all 6 jobs with a list of responsibilities and enough sets for 10 groups. They are currently available in my TpT store for $3.00 per set, but I'm offering a set for free to the first three followers who comment. Just leave me your email address and the title of the set that you want (Winter Monsters, Super Elfkins, or Racing Elfkins) in the comment section.

How do you assign roles for cooperative learning in your classroom? I'd love to hear about it in your comments!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I removed your message so you wouldn't get spammed, but there's a set of Winter Monsters heading to your inbox!

      Thanks for following!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Glad you liked it, Vanna! I removed your comment so that you wouldn't get spammed by leaving your email address posted, but your Winter Monsters are on their way! :)

      Thanks for commenting,


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