Group Work Strategies

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Rationale
I have selected group work strategy because I believe pupils working in a group are more engaged not only intellectually but emotionally as well. Pupils have to think, contribute to the group, evaluate what other members of the group say, share information, ask friends for clarification, and prepare a presentation together. Classroom research has shown that students often learn better from each other than they do from a teacher (Barkley et al. 2005:16-20). Group work gives learners exposure to a range of items and language functions. (Krall, 1989-1993:161)
I had observed that while students work together in a group, they feel free to ask and answer questions with their peers. On the contrary, some learners sometimes find it difficult
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That is, each group comprised of 4 members except for one which had 5 members. Kagan (1988) is very clear about group size, hence he states: “Teams of four are ideal.” Mixed ability groups are often used to convey a sense that all pupils are valued equally(Kyriacou, 1991). By now the pupils are trained to work effectively in their groups and most of the time the outcome is realistic learning with most of the targets achieved.
Brumfit (1984: 78) says that group work is the most effective techniques of classroom organization which combine aspects of communication learning and natural interaction in a stress free environment.
Implementation of the Group Work Strategy
First, I entered in the class and greeted my pupils. My lesson was about place value. Pupils were supposed to identify and show place value of four digit numbers up to 9999 through different resources.
Group organisation: I made five groups of four pupils and one group of 5 pupils as I had 25 pupils in my class. I named groups and explained group roles. I gave group role cards to each group.
Mental Starter: I started my lesson with whole class activity. I wrote a few three digit numbers on the board and pupils identified the place value of the underlined number. Pupils’ prior knowledge of the place value was checked for 3 digit numbers. I allocated 5 minutes to this
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Belbin (1981) focuses on how our personality moulds the roles we assume in groups. There are also more general roles that we need to take on in order to complete a group activity

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