Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

1996 Spring

Group Activities

  • On the first day of class devote the first 10 minutes to asking people to introduce themselves to their neighbor. Then ask people to introduce their neighbor to the class. This allows time for students to become acquainted with each other while also providing a more enthusiastic way for introductions to be made.
  • Group activities can be used for a number of different reasons such as discussing topics, performing tasks, brainstorming, tutoring, and problem solving. The most effective group activities involve five to six people. The most appropriate seating arrangements differ depending on the focus. Always have the different groups report their progress or findings to the larger group.
  • Encourage students to ask questions whenever they arise, not just at the end of the course. When questions are asked, repeat them so all can hear them before you respond. Also, remember that no questions are stupid, so find the merit and mention it with every question asked.
  • One of the best ways to inspire learning and better retention of that information is to encourage class participation. An idea to help all people feel freer to speak up is to make the room less formal in its structure.

    For example, if all chairs are set up singularly and in rows, move the chairs around tables. Also, as a teacher, make positive remarks that either mirror or affirm what students say, so it instigates further participation from others.