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Co-operation game: Characteristics cube
Children often do not have an opportunity to get to know each other's strengths, needs and interests. They can be reluctant to share these in case they are ridiculed. Children need to know that who they are, and what they are interested in, is viewed by others as important.
While this activity is based on groups of six, if children have not done a lot of group work together begin by using pairs or groups of three. Working in pairs before moving into larger groups can be less overwhelming for the quiet or less confident students. Dominant children can be given the task as a silent observer and the quieter children encouraged to be the speaker for the pair or group.
This activity begins with a whole-class discussion, but if children are reluctant to speak up in the large group, conduct smaller share groups. After someone speaks, encourage others to compliment him or her on what they did well. Also, establish routines for monitoring who speaks to ensure that everybody gets a go. Children can participate in this process. By asking children to monitor your interactions with them, you are showing that you think the issue of everyone having a fair say is important to you.
Do you enjoy working in groups? Which groups? Under what conditions? What co-operative team skills do you have? how have you encouraged new staff members to participate in team work? Do the children have the opportunity to see how teachers also work as members of a team?
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Last revised April, 1999
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