Building and Managing Groups the Quick and Easy Way
A sociogram is a quick and easy way to get to know how your kids see each other socially in the classroom. It is an excellent tool to use for building cooperative groups and/or collaborative teams.
Let me tell you a story:
My best memory of using a sociogram was with a very diverse group of fifth graders. They had cultural and ethnic lines already established when I introduced “groups,” based on sociogram data. Some verbally complained; two said they absolutely wouldn’t participate; others remained silent; only three seemed happy about it. I simplified the first few tasks that dealt basically with talking to each other about a subject. I reminded them that they didn’t have to like each other; they weren’t stuck with each other for the whole day or for a lifetime. I added incentives for being positive about “trying”. The barriers slowly were torn down, the lines diminished, friendships formed, and collaboration was born. Over the years I have run into these students, who are now finishing high school, and they speak so happily about that year together. It enriched my life for sure!
CCSS: College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening (K-12):
You will be Surprised!
It may surprise you to see that students you thought were the most popular are ones who are not first-choice by classmates when selecting study team co-workers. Sometimes students whom you think are not sought out socially are the ones classmates choose to work with in an academic setting.
By building study teams based on sociogram data, you will see kids who hesitate to cross ethnic or cultural boundaries begin to make genuine change in social attitudes.
See Lasting Relationships that Cross “Boundaries”.
See your students build lasting relationships that cross social and academic settings. They will learn to value one another as partners and as friends. I’ve loved seeing that happen in my diverse classrooms over the years.
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