Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Four Corners

I have a new strategy I used today.


I actually found it on Pinterest over the summer and saved the idea for a rainy day.

Well, you should definitely use this activity even when it's not raining!

I'm calling it Four Corners.

I am sure there is some other teaching strategy that is already called "four corners" and I'm not trying to take anything away from that.  This is just what I call this one for my class :)

Four Corners offers an awesome solution to the "I hate group work because I end up doing all the work and "Janie" ends up sitting there doing nothing and copying my answers..."

Or the... "Bobby always says the answer and won't let us give our opinion..."

This strategy holds Janie accountable and keeps Bobby from taking over.

And encourages kids to work in teams.

And engages students.

Win.  Win.  Win.

Here's what you need.

  • Sticky notes for each group. Each student will need one.
  • An essential question that needs to be answered.  Our was "Do you think the Texans were justified in declaring independence?  Explain your reasoning with evidence from the documents (we had 4 primary source documents to work with.)
  • A full sheet of paper with a note-card in the middle and the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 surrounding the note-card (or a text-box with lines, or just a box...whatever works for you)  Here is what I had...

  • After your lesson have the students answer the essential question on the sticky note individually.  
  • While they are working put the paper with the numbers and note-card at each group.
  • Once students are finished answering the question on their own, they place their sticky note on the paper over one of the numbers.  Now the group must come together and answer the question as a team and write one group answer down in the middle.  

Now you have each student participating, working together in a team, and engaged in the lesson. 

Win. Win. Win!