Co-operative Learning is a part of classroom management. In order to use this technique, you have to train your students to work effectively in groups. The results will be a very productive learning environment which can be a lot of fun for everyone. It offers many educational benefits if used in a planned manner.
Allow students to work in groups of their own choosing. Initially, they will choose to work with their friends and this may not be very productive. Very slowly, you can start assigning the groups without letting friends be partners.
Firstly, get to know your students and their social and academic abilities. Students will welcome the idea of group learning after going through a few weeks of teacher-directed learning.
You can set aside a 40 minute period for a group activity. Four students can be assigned to a group. You can choose the group according to the ability so that each group will have one top level, two middle level and one struggling student. Each group chooses an appropriate name.
Make the first group work assignment simple and easy. This gives the students a chance to adjust to their partners and choose a name. Children love to choose their group name because it gives them decision-making power. Ideally, all groups should choose their name by the end of the period. One member of each group places its name and the names of its members on a card in front of the teacher. Choose a group facilitator for the day. Each day a different group facilitator can be chosen so that every child gets a chance to shoulder responsibilities.
You can now create a handout with the names of all the groups and its members and give them to each student. Prepare a set of rules for their convenience so that they have a direction of their work and remain focused. This set of rules can also be handed out to the students.