Giving Group Time a Timeframe

Using small groups during a lesson is a great teaching technique. You want your students to get with 2-3 others and discuss, form questions, answer questions, etc. and then regroup as a class shortly thereafter to put all the newfound intelligence together.

Group Time

Um, but how are you going to make “shortly thereafter” happen? Kids can waste time and even though you can offer warnings like “5 minutes,” “3 minutes,” “1 minute,” the time spent still ends up lasting too long. Those verbal reminders are truly helpful…but if you are like me then these times aren’t exact and often I guiltily extended them.

Easy Fix- Add in a Song.

  1. Tell the students- we will be getting into groups of 2-3 (and then offer instructions on grouping and tasks as you so choose to do).
  2. You will have the time of this song to work with your group.
  3. When you hear the song coming to a close, then it’s time for you to closing up your group time.

This works well because the typical song will be about 3 1/2 minutes in length. The perfect length for some quick group time and then moving on. A familiar song’s ending will also cue the students so you don’t have to work at it as much.

Choose songs that are happy and upbeat. A downer tune or a slowjam isn’t going to liven up the room and inspire happy learners. Choose songs that may even seem corny- I like cheese. Make sure the songs aren’t from R. Kelly’s 12 Play or anything that is going to make you blush. Don’t creep out the kids!

Here are a few goodies to inspire: The Beatles, Kool and the Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band, BeeGees, Abba, Toto, Hall and Oates

What are some favorite songs you would recommend for the classroom?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: