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- Until a deep sense of community has been established in your classroom do not allow students to choose their own partners/groups.
- Vary partners/groups consistently, this can be done by changing the students seating arrangement often and having them work with their elbow partner/desk group.
- Teach expectations of how students should work with their partner/group at beginning of the school year.
- Review expectations throughout the school year.
- Students should be monitored consistently.
- Remember – working with a partner/group is a skill that needs to be taught.
Teach and practice clear expectations around:
- Individual contribution to work
- Problem solving with a partner/group
- Learning from each other
- Time management
- Organization of materials
- Division of responsibilities
Benefits of partner/group work
- Develops the community in your classroom.
- Offers opportunity for students to learn and practice social skills.
- Offers opportunity for students to learn from and teach each other.
- Prepares students for future educational experiences.
- Prepares students for employment.
- Develops a lifelong skill.