24 Strategies to Teach Learners to Work Effectively in a Group Setting

Are you looking for strategies to help students to work effectively in a group setting? If so, keep reading.

1. Praise the student for working in a group situation: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

2. Talk with the student to explain(a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., failing to part) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., talking, taking turns, playing, sharing, etc.).

3. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. • Raise your hand. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

4. Praise other students in the classroom for working properly in a group situation.

5. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., working properly with peers) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

6. Connect with parents to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for participating properly in group situations at school.

7. Do not force the student to take part in group situations until they can be successful.

8. Select a peer to sit/work directly with the student (e.g., in various settings such as art, music, P.E., on the bus, or various learning activities such as tutoring, group projects, running errands in the school building, recess, etc.).

9. Reward or urge other students for their participation in group situations.

10. Give the student the responsibility of helping a peer in group situations.

11. Review group rules and expectations at the beginning of each cooperative learning experience.

12. Ask the student a question when they are most likely to be able to respond successfully (e.g., when discussing a topic in which the student is interested, when the teacher is sure the student knows the answer, etc.).

13. Attempt several groupings to ascertain the situation in which the student is most comfortable.

14. Get peers to invite the student to take part in school or extracurricular learning activities.

15. Get the student to lead a cooperative learning experience when they possess mastery or an interest in the learning experience.

16. Let the student be present during group learning activities without requiring active participation. Require more involvement over time as the student becomes more active in group situations.

17. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Fear of failure may cause the student to be reluctant to take part in group situations.

18. Get the student to work with one or two other group members. As the student becomes more comfortable, slowly increase the size of the group.

19. Show respect for the student’s opinions, responses, suggestions, etc.

20. Give the student the chance to pick a topic or learning experience for the group to work on together.

21. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

24. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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