Cooperative Learning: One Teacher's StrategyI allowed students to work in self-selected groups to produce We-Search papers for an I-Search Unit on rivers. I encouraged them to think about the division of labor in terms of what skills each member brought to the group and what tasks would be completed. Three roles were developed by my teaching team: the Materials Manager, Problem Solver, and Stickler. We gave each group a description of the roles and asked them to choose a role by signing their names below the descriptions.
Materials Manager - This person is responsible for keeping track of what the group needs to do their work. S/he keeps all of the notes and resources. S/he keeps the We-Search group notebook (when they are working, it should always be at school), markers, computer diskettes, and other supplies.
Problem Solver - This person is responsible for giving praise and encouragement
to the group and helping them move ahead. S/he resolves differences in
the group and communicates with the teacher if the We-Search group needs
help. This person also creates a daily schedule and goals for the group.
Stickler - This person is responsible for keeping the group on task and making sure all of the assignments are completed exactly according to the teacher's instructions. S/he gives all materials a final check before they are turned in for a grade. This person is also responsible for any printing the group needs to do.