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Cooperative Learning Strategies


Gallery Walk

Two Facts and

a Fib

Also called Rotating Review, this technique allows for small group
discussion, followed by whole-class reflection. The teacher prepares
stations containing chart paper with topic or vocabulary word written
as headings on chart paper. Small groups of students rotate around the
classroom, stopping at each station for a designated period of time
(usually 1-2 minutes). At each station, students activate their prior
knowledge of a topic or concept and share their ideas with their
group. The students then write down all the terms or phrases they can
think of that relate to the topic on their sheet. They are not allowed to
add something that has been written by a previous group. This
requires each group to read the ideas added by the other groups. At
the end of the brainstorming session, you can also have the students,
individually or as a whole class, determine the three or four most
important terms or ideas that were written.
The teacher prepares several discussion questions and posts these in
different sections, or stations, around the classroom. The students
work in their cooperative groups to discuss and write their answers
to the question. Each group then rotates to the next station.
There, they can add additional comments/answers, but cannot
repeat what the other groups have already written. When the group
returns to the station where it started, the group synthesizes
comments and makes an oral report out to the class. This stage of
the Gallery Walk is a great chance for involving the entire class in
discussion and to address misconceptions. Group or individual
written reports can be completed in lieu of oral reports.
Use this strategy to introduce, review, and/or reflect on any subject,
literature selection, current event, or unit of study. Tell students to
prepare 1, 2 and 3 cards using index cards or scrap paper. The
teacher reads 3 clues, and the students hold up the card with the
number that corresponds to the fib.
This is easily adaptable to a group activity. Each group compiles two
facts and a fib, and take turns trying to stump the other groups.


There is no talking allowed during the activity! Students are split into
groups of 3 and are given a set of 3 vocabulary terms and a large piece
of bulletin board or poster paper. Every student in the group receives a
different color pencil/pen and one of the vocabulary words. A timer is
set for five minutes and students are expected to write their word/term
on the paper followed by a definition. The definition can be in words or
pictures. After the initial definitions are written, time is reset for ten
minutes, during this time the students can write additional




Three Stay,
One Stray


comments or opinions and respond to what others in their group have

written. The teacher can roam around the room making comments and
writing opinions as well. After ten minutes, the students rotate to the
next groups paper to write comments and opinions for the other
vocabulary terms as well. Continue with the rotation.
The class is divided into several teams, with each team preparing
separate but related assignments. When all team members are
prepared, the class is re-divided into mixed groups, with one member
from each team in each group. Each person in the group teaches the
rest of the group what he/she knows, and the group then tackles an
assignment together that pulls all of the pieces together to form the
full picture. http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/jigsaws/index.html
The teacher instructs the students to form two concentric circles
containing the same number of students. Students in the inside circle
face a partner standing in the outside circle. The students from the
inside circle share something with their partner (a summary, the
answer to a content related question, etc.). The students reverse roles
and the students on the outside circle share with their partner. The
teacher sets a time limit for each sharing session. The inside circle
then rotates and the students turn to face their new partner. Repeat.
Each group is given a topic to discuss/prepare. After the discussions
are complete, the teacher designates a student from each team who
will "stray" to an adjoining team to give the report and teach the
other group. The designated student shares with this new team the
results of his original group's discussion, giving proposed solutions to
problems or summarizing discussions. A second rotation may be
desirable if the topic prompted divergent thinking and solutions. ThreeStay One-Stray offers a low-threat forum where students can exchange
ideas and build social skills. Another benefit is efficiency. Instead of, for
example, ten sequenced five-minute reports to the entire class (fifty
minutes, plus transition time), individual students are simultaneously
giving five-minute reports throughout the room!
Think-Pair-Square is similar to Think-Pair-Share. Students first discuss
problem-solving strategies in pairs and then in groups of four, where
they compare answers and methodologies. The think-pair-square
structure gives students the opportunity to discuss their ideas and hear
the thinking of others. This works well if one pair is having difficulty
solving a problem. Finally, if the problem posed does not have a "right"
answer, the two student pairs can combine their results and generate a
more comprehensive answer.