Groups in the Math Classroom

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
This year I put my students in groups of 4 in the classroom. I will post a picture of my groups soon because I love the set-up. I have always been too afraid of putting my students in groups because of how students may affect my classroom management. However, I was wrong because I will never have my students in rows again. The first day, I allowed students to sit where they wanted (which made me very anxious since I like control in the classroom). I told students that they can sit where they would like but the moment they decided to talk while I am talking, I will stop teaching and move them immediately. All it took was one example from each class to show them that I was not messing around and students completely stopped talking while I was teaching since they did not want to be moved away from their friends.

Students think that teachers will not go through with what they claim they're going to do so they test it and once they know that you are not holding any empty threats, they will succumb to your rules :) (most of the time ;). Having my students in groups have also changed the way I do quizzes. For the past two years, I have used the quizzes that my team make which consists of two separate forms (form A and form B. I used to separate my desks in rows and hand out the quizzes and tells students there is absolutely no talking and no electronic devices. It was like a mini-test and students started to dread quizzes. This year, I came up with an idea last minute since I wanted to do an activity before a quiz and didn't want to separate my desks and put them back together in the same class period.

I decided to make a GROUP QUIZ, where I created 4 separate forms of the quiz (Form A- Form D). I told students they are not allowed to use any notes, only the help of their peers. The results were amazing due to the amount of talking among students about the material. They were willing to ask questions (when they would not ask me) about the material and how to do it.

Here is an example of one of my group quizzes over triangle basics that you are more than welcome to use and try in the classroom. Please do not upload to any websites and tell me how this works in your classroom.

Click Here for Triangle Congruence Quiz


  1. On the group quiz were the forms handed out as Quiz A-D at each group of 4?

    1. Yes, I hand out different forms for each person in a group so that everyone in the group has separate forms. I allow them to work together to help each other since they are doing the same work but different problems.