Collaborative Strategies
(When Students Work Together)
This tab is to help you with:
 Getting students to work together
 Having students share ideas to aid in learning
 Organize student thoughts using graphic organizers
Jigsaw
You don't need to 'instruct' all the time. Let students do your work for you.
Benefits of strategy: Students learn better when they have to teach.
Example: You have 20 students in your classroom and four topics to cover.
Preparation: Prepare resources for each of the four topics that students can summarize. Provide students with a graphic organizer for jot notes.
1. Expert group arranged with four groups of five.
2. Give each Expert group one of the four topics to research.
3. Allow time for students to become Experts of their topic. (Teachers circulate to provide guidance)
4. When all are Experts, give each student a number 15 per group.
5. Form Home groups. Group 1's together, 2's together... to form five groups of four different experts each.
6. Have each expert share their knowledge.
*tip*
 Students can fill out their graphic organizer with jot notes.
Benefits of strategy: Students learn better when they have to teach.
Example: You have 20 students in your classroom and four topics to cover.
Preparation: Prepare resources for each of the four topics that students can summarize. Provide students with a graphic organizer for jot notes.
1. Expert group arranged with four groups of five.
2. Give each Expert group one of the four topics to research.
3. Allow time for students to become Experts of their topic. (Teachers circulate to provide guidance)
4. When all are Experts, give each student a number 15 per group.
5. Form Home groups. Group 1's together, 2's together... to form five groups of four different experts each.
6. Have each expert share their knowledge.
*tip*
 Students can fill out their graphic organizer with jot notes.
Thinkpairshare
Tired of long wait times? Is silence not golden for your group of students? Do you have the same students respond to your questions?
Benefits of strategy: Students get to talk about their ideas in small groups, so everyone gets a chance to share and shy students are more likely to open up. Students do not feel as intimidated about their response being wrong, because their ideas are validated in a small group setting.
Strategy Steps:
1. Pose a question to the students.
2. Have students think about the question for 1015 seconds silently. Alternatively, have them write down two ideas silently.
3. Have students share their ideas with a partner.
4. Bring attention of wholeclass back. Call upon partners to share one idea that they spoke about.
5. Adaptation: partners can share ideas in small groups and come up with their favourite idea to share with the whole class.
Benefits of strategy: Students get to talk about their ideas in small groups, so everyone gets a chance to share and shy students are more likely to open up. Students do not feel as intimidated about their response being wrong, because their ideas are validated in a small group setting.
Strategy Steps:
1. Pose a question to the students.
2. Have students think about the question for 1015 seconds silently. Alternatively, have them write down two ideas silently.
3. Have students share their ideas with a partner.
4. Bring attention of wholeclass back. Call upon partners to share one idea that they spoke about.
5. Adaptation: partners can share ideas in small groups and come up with their favourite idea to share with the whole class.
Carousel Activity (Gallery Walk)
Tired of asking groups to share their ideas aloud?
Benefits of strategy: Get your students moving while reading new ideas!
Group strategy:
After groups brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard or poster, have all groups walk around the room to see what others have written.
Individual strategy:
Place posters with specific topics around the room and have students write comments on each. After students have written on each poster, have them walk around and read the other responses. Extension: students write comments to others' responses.
Benefits of strategy: Get your students moving while reading new ideas!
Group strategy:
After groups brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard or poster, have all groups walk around the room to see what others have written.
Individual strategy:
Place posters with specific topics around the room and have students write comments on each. After students have written on each poster, have them walk around and read the other responses. Extension: students write comments to others' responses.
Speed Dating (Random Pairings)
There are many variations to this strategy.
Students each need one cue card.
Students each need one cue card.
 Students respond to three questions on their cue card.
 Students find different "dates" or pairs for each question. (Encourage students to go for 'blind' dates, unfamiliar class mates)
 Students share responses (~1 minute)
Collaborative Graphic Organizers
Graphic organizers go by many names including adjunct displays, diagrams, graphs, and charts.
Concept Attainment
Students confusing different concepts?
This strategy has different variations:
This strategy has different variations:
 Whole class variation (needs large Tchart, list of examples, and sticky notes): Teacher creates a large Tchart on poster paper for Concept A and Concept B. Teacher then puts up a list or word cloud of definitions and examples of the concepts. Teacher asks students to write the examples on sticky notes and sort into either column A or column B.
 Read, highlight, sort variation: Give students a paragraph that describes two different concepts and have them underline definitions and examples of concept A but circle definitions and examples of concept B. Have students then create a chart to distinguish between concepts.
Placemat
Not sure how to get students to collaborate in groups?
Benefit: all students contribute
Benefit: all students contribute
 Teacher prints off large diagrams or asks students to divide a large piece of paper into five parts with a circle in the middle
 Teacher groups students into a small group of four
 Teacher gives students a question to answer, a concept to explore, or ideas to list
 Each student writes responses in their triangle of the diagram
 When complete, the students find commonalities of their ideas and write them in the middle circle
Freyer Model
Need students to understand a concept?
 Print off a Frayer Model Diagram on large paper
 Give diagram to students in pairs or small groups no larger than four
 Have students write the name of the concept in the middle
 Students can divide the tasks of writing the definition, characteristics, examples, and nonexamples of the concept, or can discuss them together to fill in the diagram
Conversation Roundtable
Need accountability for small group discussions?

Graffiti Board
Want collaborative ideas without lots of restrictions?
 Teacher poses a question, hands out postit notes, and asks students to write brainstorming ideas on them
 Students place postits on board in any orientation
 Teacher picks out ideas to share aloud with the class
Fishbone
Need to sort ideas into clear categories, but they all contribute to one main concept?
 Teacher gives large topic titles to students
 Students collaborate potential factors associated with the topics and record them on the fishbone
 Great for sorting cause and effect relationships
Cycle Diagram
Decision Tree
Engage Both Sides (Two Perspectives Chart)
PMI Chart (PlusMinusInteresting)
Need to examine both sides of an issue?
Benefits of strategy: helps students think about issues from different perspectives.
Example: Fossil Fuels versus Going Green
Benefits of strategy: helps students think about issues from different perspectives.
Example: Fossil Fuels versus Going Green
 Have groups brainstorm benefits, drawbacks, and interesting points for each perspective of continued fossil fuel usage versus going green.
 After group brainstorm discussion, have each group write ideas down in a large graphic organizer.
 Groups can either share ideas with whole class, or can do a carousel activity (see above).
Flow Diagram (Flow Chart)
Need to show a sequence?
 Stepbystep linear process from beginning to end
 Shapebound words with arrows
Hierarchy (Pyramid or Shape Map)
SplitPage Notetaking (Cornell TwoColumn Notes)
Have students who cannot take notes?

Mind Map (Concept Map or Word Connections)
Need a visual for sorting ideas?
Online tools to brainstorm and connect ideas:
MindMeister: https://www.mindmeister.com/
Padlet: https://padlet.com/
 Can be done on paper or whiteboard
 Have students write ideas on postit notes and place on board under a category on whiteboard
 If on paper, provide the organizer (shown to the right) and have small groups or pairs of students sort their ideas into categories.
 Hint: if ideas are placed in a closed shape with a line that connects it back to a central idea, the students' brains will better learn the connection from the added visual.
 Benefit: shows relationships between ideas and details
Online tools to brainstorm and connect ideas:
MindMeister: https://www.mindmeister.com/
Padlet: https://padlet.com/