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Extensive use of cooperative grouping  

LKSD Best Practice #18

Students are taught how to work collaboratively with others. Depending on the expectation or nature of the work, this may look differently.

For further information on pairing students, review Best Practice #19

Focus Friday: November 11, 2022

A lot gets accomplished in 15 minutes when students are on-task and working together!

Essential Facets of Cooperative Learning
(Johnson & Johnson, 2005)

  • Positive interdependence

  • Face-to-face interaction

  • Individual and group accountability

  • Interpersonal and small group skills

  • Group processing

LKSD Teacher Showcase

Cooperative learning is important because it allows students who understand a concept to master it by teaching it to others, while providing extra help for those who need it.


Using cooperative grouping in my classroom allows me to easily step away from the class as a whole and work with a student or small group. It also activates critical thinking and teamwork skills; when a group isn't sure of their next step, they can often work it out using their collective knowledge. My students have been able to take their learning into their own hands through cooperative learning.

Mr. Isaac Samuels

Gladys Jung Elementary 

Music Teacher

Components of Cooperative Learning: Group Activities

  1. Students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning 

  2. Ideas and materials are shared, labor is divided, and every member of the group is rewarded based on the successful completion of the task

  3. Every group member is responsible for 2 main things:

    1. Learning what is taught

    2. Helping their teammates learn

  4. Cooperative learning facilitates higher expectations

  5. Students construct their own knowledge, engage in higher order thinking, build relationships, and learn from each other 

REMEMBER: the teacher decides the pairing assignments. Pairs are determined based on three criteria:

  1. academic skill,

  2. language proficiency, and

  3. ​personality.

For further information on pairing students, review Best Practice #19

Student seating is one of the easiest, most cost-effective classroom management tactics available to teachers.

Bicard, et al, 2012

Student groups should change based on content area:  

  • 1 Pair list for Math only

  • 1 Pair list for L1 only

  • 1 Pair list for everything else

Every 4-6 weeks! 


Bicard, D.F., Ervin, A., Bicard, S.C., Baylot-Casey, L. (2012). Differential effects of seating arrangements on disruptive behavior of fifth grade students during independent seatwork. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45(2), 407- 411. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2012.45-407

Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, R.T. (2005). New developments in social interdependence theory. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 131(4), 285-358.

Rogers, K. (2020). The effects of classroom seating layouts on participation performance in a fourth grade classroom. Journal of Learning Spaces, 9(1), 31-41.


Will, P., Bischof, W.F., Kingston, A. (2020). The impact of classroom seating location and computer use on student academic performance. PLoS ONE, 15(8). 

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