Teachers often tell me that they dislike group work because one or two students end up doing all of the work. I eliminate this problem by requiring that students complete a graphic organizer or some other artifact before moving to groups. Those students who can not demonstrate that they have read and processed the assigned material are not allowed to take part in the activity. No evidence = No group work. This strategy generally works and this is a great way to cover ground on a 4 x 4 schedule without sacrificing the curriculum.
The Storyboard Graphic Organizer works well with a variety of assignments and subject
areas. The squares can be used to draw symbols, concepts, or pictures.
Jig-sawing is a problem solving process that utilizes cooperative learning groups. In this process, each student becomes an expert in one area of the assigned reading; he then shares his expertise and learns about the expertise of others by participating in a second group.