Resource Image Science Sampler: The eight-step method to great group work

by: Sally Steward and Jill Swango
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Type of Resource: Journal Article
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 2 reviews
Publication Title: Science Scope
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Grade Level: Middle School


Many science teachers already understand the importance of cooperative learning in the classroom and during lab exercises. However, many teachers shy away from group work because of the challenges associated with getting adolescents into groups that actually “work” together rather than just “group” together. The following eight guidelines will alleviate the stress of grouping your students and open up endless learning opportunities in a cooperative setting.

Ideas For Use


Ability levels and grouping
Posted in New Teachers by Carolyn Mohr on Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:51 PM

Good point, Patrick. There is an article in the Learning Center that provides some pointers for teachers apprehensive a...
Classroom set up
Posted in Research in Science Education by Carolyn Mohr on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:20 PM

Hi Victoria, The article Tina mentioned earlier is an excellent one. It is called [url=
Classroom set up
Posted in Research in Science Education by Tina Harris on Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:34 PM

Victoria, it sounds like you put a lot of thought into your groupings. Sandy and Angelina both provide good advice as to...
Science as a Collaborative Effort
Posted in Elementary Science by Maureen Stover on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:49 PM

Hi Kimberly and welcome to the discussion forums! Last year I was teaching in an elementary science lab and I used ...

Additional Info

Intended User Role:Curriculum Supervisor, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
Educational Issues:Achievement, Assessment of students, Classroom management, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies


Resource Format:
Size: KB
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National Standards Correlation

This resource has 6 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 6 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Teaching Standards
    • Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
      • Select science content and adapt and design curricula to meet the interests, knowledge, understanding, abilities, and experiences of students.
      • Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
    • Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers
      • Orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas.
      • Recognize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning.
    • Teachers of science develop communities of science learners that reflect the intellectual rigor of scientific inquiry.
      • Display and demand respect for the diverse ideas, skills, and experiences of all students.
      • Nurture collaboration among students.

User Reviews

Excellent Guidelines for Group Work
  Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA) on September 22, 2011
  This article outlines an excellent set of guidelines to follow for successful group work. The steps are practical and easy to follow. While this article was published in the Middle School journal, I think these guidelines are an excellent tool for teachers at any level.

Cooperative Learning Groujp Tips
  Adah (San Antonio, TX) on March 23, 2012
  This article provides eight steps to that will enhance cooperative learning. These steps include making sure everyone has a job in the group, limiting time for selecting members of the group, and six more. The explanation of each of the steps is useful. This would be a good article to present to new or preservice teachers who are trying to incorporate learning groups for the first time.