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I

Collaborative Projects

Creating Cooperative Learning Cards
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Creating Cooperative Learning Cards

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Creating Cooperative Learning Cards

How to Make Cooperative Learning Cards

These cards are used to place children into cooperative learning groups. The design of the cards allows for an element of surprise for the students. It also allows for the teacher to "manipulate" the groups without the students realizing she/he is doing it. Find more suggestions for creating cooperative learning groups on this page: Creating and Managing Cooperative Learning Groups

Rules for the cards:

  1. No swapping of cards. If a student swaps a card, he/she will have to work alone. (or whatever the teacher feels is appropriate for the situation).
  2. Positive comments ONLY!
  3. Use inside voices when looking for groups.
  4. Once group is together, find a working place (or if teacher has pre- assigned, find this place).
  5. Make one person responsible for turning in the group's cards.
  6. Assign jobs to group members. These cooperative learning jobs include:
    1. Leader- The leader directs the action for the day once the teacher has given the instructions.
    2. Recorder- This group member does the writing for the entire group; he or she uses one sheet, which saves paper.
    3. Encourager - The encourager gives compliments related to how the group is working, such as "That was a great answer!"
    4. Checker- This member checks and hands in the work for the group.
    5. Reporter- This member reports the group's work to the other groups or to the teacher.
  7. Work together following the Cooperative Learning Rules.

Materials:

  • 32 index cards (3 x 5 or 5 x 8)
  • 2 or 3 Sets of stickers.
    • Ideally there should be 8 different stickers in each set
    • 4 stickers of each type (32 stickers altogether)
  • Markers
  • Stamps and stamp pads
    • Ideally you need to have at least 8 different stamps
  • 1 index card to use as a reference card

Directions:

  1. Divide the index cards into piles of 4. (Each pile will represent a group of students. The directions for these cards will place students into groups of 4. If you want to create cards that will also place students into groups of 2, 3, or 6 you can either create a new set of cards dividing them differently, or you can pick a corner of this original deck and divide them into the number you want.)
  2. Pick your first set of stickers. Start with one type of sticker.
  3. Take the first pile of 4 index cards. In the upper-left hand corner place one sticker (of the same type) on each card. Record the sticker type on the Reference card in the left-hand corner.
  4. Continue with the remainder of the stickers placing them in the left-hand corner of the remaining cards. Don't forget to record all of the stickers types on the reference card.

This is what your cards should look like:

one sticker on each card one sticker on each card
one sticker on each card one sticker on each card
  1. When you have stickers on all of the index cards, shuffle the cards. This step allows for the random placement of stickers so that no two cards are the same. Select another set of stickers.
  2. Repeat steps 1 through 4 in the right-hand corner of the cards.

Your cards should look something like this:

adding 2 stickers to each card adding 2 stickers to each card
adding 2 stickers to each card adding 2 stickers to each card
  1. Shuffle the cards again.
  2. Repeat the above steps, but this time placing stamps in the center of the cards.
adding 3 stickers to each card adding 3 stickers to each card
adding 3 stickers to each card adding 3 stickers to each card

Continue placing stickers, stamps, words, or numbers in the remaining corners following the above steps.

Example words:

  • color words
  • Good Feeling words (ex. Great Job! Super! Wonderful!)
  • Number words
  • Holidays

Don't forget to record all of the information on the Reference card. For this example the reference card should look something like this:

Smile faces: yellow
blue
aqua
hot pink

 

 

Stamps:
Sun
Heart
Moon
Lightning bolt
Stars:
pink
red
purple
green

The reference card allows the teacher to see at a glance what the different groups are and how they are grouped.

Laminate the cards.

Create a poster for the Coop Cards Rules:

  1. No swapping of cards. If a student swaps a card, he/she will have to work alone. (or whatever the teacher feels is appropriate for the situation).
  2. Positive comments ONLY!
  3. Use inside voices when looking for groups.
  4. Once the groups are together, find a working place (or if teacher has pre- assigned, find this place).
  5. Make one person responsible for turning in the group's cards.

This lesson was created by Andra Kosmoski and used with her permission.
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