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**These teaching strategies help students to:**

- work with a variety of people
- develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills
- develop problem solving skills
- revise cross curricular content (e.g. Maths)

### Stepping out

- Take 7 (at least 5, less than 25) steps in any direction and stop.
Make a pair/group of 3 with the person/people nearest to you.

### Numbers on fingers

- Number each student in the class from 1 to 5 (or any number depending on the number of groups you need).
- Ask all the ones to hold up 1 finger, twos to hold up 2 fingers, etc.
Everyone finds their respective groups.

### Companion animals

- Ask students to form groups according to their pets - those who have dogs, cats, both, none. etc.
- Alternatively, ask students to form groups according to their favourite animals/pets.

### House numbers

- Students hold up the number of their house using their fingers as the digits.
- Form a line from smallest to largest without talking.
- Divide line into groups of whatever number is needed.

### Letters in name

- Students form groups by finding others with names who start with the same letter.
- This is a good way of new classes/groups getting to know each other's names.
- Name tags can be used.

### Commonalities

- Students form groups by finding someone (or a group of people) who have something in common.
- E.g. same colour top, same shows, same eye colour, hair colour, etc.

### Room location

- Play music and ask students to walk around the room whilst the music is playing.
- Stop the music, students walk to the nearest corner to form 4 groups.
- Alternatively, they can form groups with students nearest to them when the music stops.

### Preferences

- Divide classes into 2 groups by asking preferences over two things.
- e.g. If you like apple more than orange go to this side of the room.
- e.g. 2 If you would like a sports car more than a truck, go to this side of the room.

### Pick a stick

- Use different coloured pop-sticks or pop-sticks with different shapes/numbers drawn on them to form random groups.

**Birthday line up**

- Challenge students to form a line across the room in order of their birthday without talking.
- Give no further instructions, students need to work out with their class members: how to communicate their birthday (e.g. write it down, use their fingers, mouth the words, etc); which end of the room to start at; whether to include the year of birth/age or just calendar year. There is no right or wrong, the learning is in how students manage and communicate this challenge.
- Once the students have formed a line, ask each student to call out their birthday to check the order is correct.
- Ask students to explain what they found challenging, what strategies they found useful/not useful, observations on how decisions were made by the group.
- Highlight the importance of clear communication and ways of clarifying what people mean. Non-verbal communication can be very helpful in clarifying our verbal communication, but on it's own can be difficult to understand.
- Students can then be divided into groups by separating the line up into as many groups as required (e.g. 1st four students, next four students, etc).

**Fruits**

- Choose fruits for the number of groups you would like to divide the class into (e.g 4 groups - banana, pineapple, grape, peach).
- Allocate a fruit to each student - banana, pineapple, grape, peach, banana, pineapple, grape, peach, etc.
- Students find their matching fruit to form a group. Alternatively, 'fruit salad' groups can be made (i.e. one of each fruit).
- Fruits of different colours may be chosen to add an additional element to the grouping. This can be helpful if you would like the groups to sit at particular locations which can be colour coded with hoops, sticky notes, markers, etc.
- Categories other than fruit can be used to fit with the theme of the lesson or to revise a previous lesson. E.g Different forms of contraception (IUD, pill, condom, rod).

### Number bonds

- Using numbers from a deck of cards, self-made number cards to give each student a number card.
- Students form pairs by finding their matching number bond to 10.
- This can be adapted for groups of 3 or 4 (i.e. 3 numbers that add to 10 or 4 numbers that add to 10) or for number bonds to 20, 100 etc.

**Coloured pegs **

- Use different coloured pegs to create groups of any size.
- Pegs can be placed on clipboards, chairs or clothing to indicate grouping.
- This allows for random or teacher-selected groups to be formed.

**Deck of cards**

- Use a standard deck of playing cards to create groups of various sizes.
- For example:

• 4 groups of 13 or less - hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds (remove cards from deck as necessary)

• groups of 4 - all kings, all queens, all fours, etc

• groups of 2 - red K's, black K's, red 2's, etc

• groups of 2 - number bonds to 10. - Take out the cards required to make the groups you need (e.g. 4 x kings, 4 x queens, 4 x jacks, 4 x aces, 4 x tens - to make groups of 4).
- Shuffle the cards for random group formation.

**Jigsaw**

- Use simple jigsaw puzzles (e.g. 6 pieces) to form groups.
- Students find their matching jigsaw pieces and complete the puzzle to form groups.
- Simple jigsaws can be made simply by using a picture and cutting it into 6 pieces. This can be a different image for each group, or the same image on different coloured paper for each group.
- Topic words can also be used with letters or sound blends cut into the jigsaw pieces.
- Additional challenge: Find your group without talking.
- Additional challenge 2: Find your group within the length of a song or timer.