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Help encouraging cooperation

Have you ever experienced unwilling to cooperate students who were unhappy to work with others? I guess so. Constant arguments and annoyance can be discouraging for even the most incredible teacher. Needing something to cope with such situations I started reading some teaching English methodology books and I came across choosing sticks.

Name sticks or number sticks?

Nice management idea is to have choosing sticks with names or numbers on them. I teach in many different classes, so the idea of numbers suits me the most. Nowadays, almost every class teacher has her/his own sticks with all the children’s names on them, so I can easily borrow and use them.
I use sticks while choosing partners and groups. Sometimes I put sticks with the same numbers but one is represented by a written word and another just by the number. Pupils need to find their pair. (1-one, four-4)

Secret student

Another idea is to choose a stick with the name of a secret student. This person can be ask more challenging questions or have to do something like bringing extra materials, worksheets, etc. At the end of the lesson, I usually ask my pupils to guess who the secret student was. We laugh a lot if they do not get it correctly.


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