Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Helpful Harvest: Using Collaborative Posters to Ensure Small Group Participation

Hi, everyone! It's Stacia and Amanda from Collaboration Cuties.
We are so excited to share our Helpful Harvest tip with y'all today, and be sure to check out all the helpful tips this month here on the Primary Peach!  :)
Our tip is a way to ensure small group participation! We always love to let our students work in small groups, but sometimes we have students that get off task and are not really participating in the project or activity. Has this ever happened in your classroom? 

For example, we have just finished studying different Native American tribes, and the students are working in groups of four to create a poster describing one of the tribes. I come over to the group and see that student 1 is looking up information in their notebook, student 2 is recording information on the poster, student 3 is playing with the markers and colored pencils, and student 4 is just watching the rest of the group. Sigh.....

So, how can we fix this problem? Use Collaborative Posters! Collaborative Posters are a great way to ensure that everyone in the group is participating and contributing! 

Collaborative Posters are just posters that students work together in groups to create. We often use them when we finish a unit of study to let students show what they have learned. They are a great way to review important concepts and check for understanding and mastery. 

There are a few different ways to use Collaborative Posters to ensure that each student in the group is participating. To get started, put students in small groups of 2, 3, or 4 students depending on what type of poster you want to create. Then, show the students an example of the poster you want them to create (we usually show them the layout so they can create something similar- for example, they may need to divide the paper into sections and label them, or they may just need to write a topic at the top of the paper, or maybe they need to draw a Venn diagram, etc.) Now, use one of the three suggestions below to ensure that each student in the group participates.  :)

Suggestion 1- Each student in the group writes with a different colored marker. 
Give each student a different colored marker and instruct them only to write with that color. Have each student write their name on the back of the poster with that same color. Now you will know who contributed each piece of information. It's quick and easy to see that the student with the green marker wrote more than the student with the blue marker. 

Suggestion 2- Each student in the group writes on a certain section of the poster.
Assign each student a different section of the poster to write in so that you know who wrote each piece of information. If one section is blank or has very little information, it's easy to see.

Suggestion 3- Each student in the group writes about a specific question or topic.
Give each student a specific job for the poster. In the example above, the students have to write about different features of the Hopi Tribe. Each student is focused on a certain aspect of the tribe they studied. 

We've found that using these tips during small group work really helps to ensure student participation. It also allows all students to have an opportunity to show what they have learned, not just one group member.

We hope that these tips are helpful for you in your classroom! Please check out all the amazing tips shared this month on the Primary Peach!
Have a great rest of your week!
For even more ideas from The Primary Peach, be sure to follow us on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates!
-Stacia and Amanda