One question I get a lot: How do I assign groups? Do I randomly assign them? Do I let them pick? Do I have a homogenous mixture or heterogeneous mixture of grades? My answer is D. None of the Above. I group my students based on their strengths.
In my class, my students do alot of group work. I have tried all of the different ways of grouping students, and was never really happy with the results. Then, I discovered Trively. Trively has a lot of features and does a lot of things; however, the reason I use it is for its Strengths Assessment – which is free!
After making a free account, the students take an 80-question assessment that measures them against 23 different strength factors. At the end they receive their top five strengths, a detailed description of each and things they can possibly do with those strengths. Strengths include things like analytical, driven, coordinated, a good leader, creative, independent, worldy, etc.
Then I tell them that I am going to use their strengths to make the groups. Not all the leaders, or creative students, or students who are analytical are going to be in one group. The strengths are going to be spread out. I also encourage them to have a conversation with their team members about what they bring to the table and where they are going to have the opportunity to learn something new from someone.
In additional to helping me create meaningful groups, a Strengths Based Approach also allows you to:
- “Empower students by highlighting their unique blend of top strengths
- Personalize instruction based on strengths, interests, and learning styles
- Expose students to potential career pathways, connected to results
- Activate student agency with vital self-knowledge”
You can also take your own strengths assessment to find out your top five strengths!