Four Strategies for Students
Teachers can choose to implement several different types of collaborative learning strategies, depending on the needs of students and the focus of specific assignments. Examples of small-group collaborative learning methods are:
1) The Think-Pair-Share strategy, which involves each student in the group taking one minute to formulate a response to the teacher's question, then sharing individual findings with a partner. After collaborating in pairs, students can then share input with slightly larger groups or with the entire class.
2) The Simple Jigsaw strategy, which involves four-person teams splitting a teacher-assigned task into equal parts. Each student in the group acts as an "expert" on one section of the assignment and meets with corresponding "experts" in other groups for discussion and task mastering. Students then return to their initial teams to share their knowledge of the task with other members.
3) The Three-Step Interview strategy, through which students initially break into pairs and take turns interviewing one another about an assignment. Each pair of students then combine with another pair in order to enhance the discussion.
4) The Numbered Heads Together strategy, where each team member is assigned a number, then instructed to collaborate on a question. The teacher then calls a number randomly, and the student in each group who has that number acts as spokesperson in answering the question. Each student must be prepared for the possibility of having his or her number chosen.