Sliding Groups

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This activity is used to switch up small group discussion that involves multiple questions.  Small groups of any number start by discussing one question.  Then, the instructor reads a statement or a statement is displayed on the board in which only one student from each group will be selected.  Examples include “The person with the birthday nearest to today” or “The person who went to bed the earliest last night”.  That student selected in each group slides over to a new group, which changes the dynamic of each group.

The students who slid to a new group summarize what was said in their former group, and then the new group discusses a second question.  Then the process is repeated, where a new person is selected to slide to the next group.  Eventually, each group will be entirely different from the ones that started the activity.

Sliding groups exposes students to a lot of different perspectives and personalities in a short amount of time.  This is a good activity to help students adapt to new group dynamics.  Breaking up discussion into smaller, manageable sections keeps younger students engaged and more accountable in staying on task.  The statements can be used to help students get to know each other better and connect on a non-academic level.

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