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WOW Activity

Found in: back to school; pairing & grouping

At the beginning of the year, I have students brainstorm positive and negative aspects of working in small groups, and we discuss their points. We then discuss their experiences with successful groups and compile a list of what an effective group does.

The lists are practically the same for all classes:

1) Be polite and call each other by name.
2) One person talks at a time--don't interrupt.
3) Everyone participates.
4) Stay on task.

I get the small groups working on an assignment and monitor their progress for a few minutes. I work with the one group that especially needs my attention. When I give them time for independent practice, I walk around and monitor the other groups.

The students know I am watching and listening because I record positive comments and behaviors I hear and see as well as negative ones. I share this with the class before I give WOW stickers at the end of class. After 4 WOW stickers students can drop a zero homework grade, earn a homework pass, get fifteen minutes of free time to read, or listen to music, etc.


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