Managing group work (2)

The problem being addressed in this technique

Critics of group work often accuse teachers of adopting 'wooly' approaches where students sit as a group but do not work as a group. They claim that teachers allow individuals to dominate with some opting out and contributing little. The next 3 examples in 'technique of the week' will focus on managing group activity so that these criticisms are addressed.

1. (31 January): how to ensure all group members participate in brainstorming.

2. (7 February): how to ensure all members of a group have a designated role.

3. (14 February): how to organise a group research activity that meets the needs of a wide range of skill levels.


Principle 3

“Great teachers create a safe, welcoming, and trusting learning environment with fair, clear, consistent, and public systems of classroom management. Group activity is purposeful and well structured.”


Group planning form (one of 29 techniques in Chapter 3)

If a group is asked, for example, to plan a presentation together, the teacher can make use of a simple group planning form.


The group must record what each person is doing in the presentation and the date when it will be ready. Teachers will sign off the plan when they are happy with it but may intervene if, for example, any of the learners are working at too high or too low a level: e.g. my role is to colour in the front page… This type of planning form is very useful post-16 when small groups are required to use private study to plan a talk or presentation for a later lesson. Before they leave the previous lesson, the teacher has a copy of their plan. Responsibilities are clear.


To get all the 29 techniques in Chapter 3, Principle 3 go here

To get all 157 techniques for all 7 principles go here

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