24 Strategies to Teach Students 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 learner for working in a group situation: (a) give the learner 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 learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

2. Talk with the learner to explain(a) what the learner is doing wrong (e.g., failing to part) and (b) what the learner 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 learner 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 learner’s progress. The parents may reinforce the learner at home for participating properly in group situations at school.

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

8. Select a peer to sit/work directly with the learner (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 learner 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 learner a question when they are most likely to be able to respond successfully (e.g., when discussing a topic in which the learner is interested, when the teacher is sure the learner knows the answer, etc.).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. Give the learner 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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