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Facilitating the Groups

Facilitating the group process is critical and may not always feel easy or comfortable. This article will offer you some probing questions and guidance to help facilitate group work time.

As noted earlier, you should only answer a question posed by the group rather than by individual students. You may also restrict the number of questions that a group can ask, being generous the first few times that students work in groups. When a group asks questions, answer by redirecting with guiding questions such as: 

  • What does your group think?
  • How did you arrive at that answer?
  • How does this relate to past activities?
  • What work have you done so far?
  • What do you know about the problem?
  • What do you need to figure out?
  • What materials might help you to figure this out?
  • Are there other parts of the problem that you can do first?


Other tips to consider as you facilitate groups:

Provide additional instruction and to scaffold support: 

  • Listen carefully and value the diversity of thought that often provides instructional opportunities.
  • Balance learning with working effectively. Remember that no one is on-task 100% of the time.
  • Deal with conflict constructively.
  • Ask students to sign off on other group members’ papers to acknowledge that everyone understands the group’s results.
  • Provide additional resources that will support language and content development for students to empower everyone to feel successful