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Wanted Work Groups

Found in: pairing & grouping

I use a sociogram to create workgroups in my class. Each student is asked to put his or her own name on a quarter sheet of paper. Under this name, the student writes the names of two others in the class with whom he or she would like to work. I promise to try to arrange for everyone to be with someone on his or her list.

Slips of paper in hand, I sit with blank white paper and write the first student's name and that student's first choice of a co-worker, drawing an arrow to indicate that student #1 wanted #2. Going to the next slip, the process is continued until on my paper there is a graphic organizer showing the primary social relationships of the class.

Taking a different colored pen, I go through the papers a second time, drawing arrows on the existing sociogram to show secondary relationships. At this point groups can be formed in a number of ways, considering strengths, behavior, cultural balance or other important factors.

The key is to make sure that in each group each person is 'wanted' by or 'wants' to be with someone else. With 'wanted' workgroups based on the sociogram, everyone enjoys the social opportunity while valuable class time can focus on academic achievement.