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The Sum of 3 (or 4) activity is one of my favorite cooperative group lessons!
You divide your class into groups of 3 or 4 students. Each student in the group is given a different worksheet with different answers. Each student completes the first problem on their worksheet, then they add their answers together and check to see if they obtained the correct sum. If they did, they move on to the next problem. If they didn't, they check each other's work. This process continues until they have completed all the problems.
Benefits of the Sum of 3 (or 4) activity:
* Students are encouraged to communicate and find each other's mistakes.
* The success (and conclusion) of the activity depends on the students working together.
* The activity helps students to realize that they can ask their peers for assistance and not always depend on the teacher as the sole 'helper'.
Tips for the Teacher:
* Only help a group if all members have tried to solve the issue.
* Monitor students thinking and discussions as you circulate (helpful for lesson wrap up).
* Ask questions to push students in the right direction, rather than tell them how to get the answer.
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