Placemat

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Method & Rationale

This method is perfect for work on new items. Pupils are divided into groups of three, four or five persons. It is important, that each group has its own table and can sit round it.

Description

You prepare a placemat for each group. Therefor you take a din A2-peace of paper (e.g. a flipchart) and mark a din A4-field in the middle. Best is to work with a repository glue and fix a coloured paper in the middle. The rest of the flipchart is divided into individual parts as shown below.
 
    3 persons                                    4 persons                               5 persons
                          
After a short introduction and presentation of the topic (can be with some information material) two to four central questions are given to the pupils. Each of the group members answers this questions in his own individual part.
After this part, each member of the group reads, comments and improves the individual solutions of his partners. To do this either the paper is turned, or the students change places. Everybody is forced to do written comments on the solutions. But the most important point is, that nobody is allowed to speak until everybody has read each individual solution of the group.
Last step is, to do a group solution by discussing the individual solution, write it on the A4-paper in the middle and present the solution to the whole audience.
The biggest advantage of this method compared to normal group work is, that everybody is forced to develop his own solution first. So nobody can do nothing and everyone’s idea is heard before discussion starts.

Visualisation

Phase 1: do your own individual solution

 
Phase 2: improve and comment your colleague’s solutions

Phase 3: do a group solution

 
Phase 4: present it to the audience
 
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