Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cooperative Grouping Cards {FREEBIE}

     Once upon a time, a young college student purchased a set of cooperative grouping cards for her future classroom.  She loved them dearly (as did her students).  Many years passed and the cards became frail and time worn. The veteran teacher tried to purchase a replacement set, but alas, the company that made them was no longer in business. So, in desperation, she decided to create her own and share them with all of her new bloggy friends. There was great rejoicing in the kingdom and they all lived happily ever after!
     All kidding aside, I seriously love my old cooperative grouping cards but a few of them have gotten lost or so bent up that I am ashamed to use them anymore.  So, I thought my first day out of school for the summer was the perfect time to create a whole new set.  That'll be one thing checked off of my summer to do list, right?
    I will show you just how I use these for grouping in this post, but first, here is how you can grab a set of your own.  Just click {HERE} or on the pic below to visit my T.P.T. store to download your own copy. This freebie has 10 complete sets of cards with fun themes!

          So, here's a quick run down of how I use these little cards. First, I print, laminate, and cut out the four cards. Then they are ready for all sorts of uses.
***IMPORTANT: I ONLY USE THESE CARDS WHEN ABILITY GROUPING IS NOT REQUIRED OR NECESSARY.
  • I have used these to create random teams of mixed abilities for games and activities. I have also used them to create teams in my RtI class where student abilities are very similar. 
  • I have used them to create small groups for experiments, art projects, discussion groups, and brainstorming sessions.
Here's how I use them for groups of different sizes and purposes.

Most often for groups with four members, I hand out all four cards. I have also had them all turned face down in a pocket chart and let students randomly select a card. The student who is holding the full color scene card has the leadership card. They can be the supply manager, team spokesperson, discussion facilitator, or whatever role is appropriate for the task. The three other kids whose cards' image appears in the scene will be the other three members of that group. 
Usually for groups with three members, I will either post the scene card, lay it out on the group's work area, or hold it up and call out the theme. (i.e. "Anyone with an arctic picture meet me at this table.") My students LOVE to find their scene and see who is in the group with them!
For groups of two, I just sort through the sets and remove one of the group member cards.  Then, there are only two kiddos who have a picture that matches the scene. 

If I have an odd number of students or groups that cannot be equally divided, I pull a random image card from a set that does not have a scene that I am using. I call this "The Wild Card". So, when a student sadly says, "My card is not in any of these pictures." I can smile and say, "Lucky you! You picked the wild card! After all of the groups are in place, you get to pick the group you want to join!" They get so tickled when they draw the wild card!  

I cannot wait to hear what creative uses you find for these cards! So, help a teacher out and let me know what you come up with! I am always on the prowl for a great idea!

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