Remember that changing study teams every couple of weeks or every chapter is a good rule of thumb. When deciding how to form teams, consider which of three main grouping techniques you prefer: Fixed (assigned), Random, or Fixed-Random. If you are choosing Fixed groups, you use your knowledge of your students’ abilities and limitations to determine the teams. For example, you might decide to put teams together with a high, a low and two average students, or to group students based on their ability to cooperate with each other. Random grouping, as the term implies, can be done with a deck of cards, or using any of a number of random grouping ideas found at the link above. Fixed-random grouping is where you have individual team members of existing teams move to another team. For example, have all Resource Managers move one table clockwise, or ask whoever has the most siblings to move two tables away. Keep asking for movement until you have mixed up the teams to your satisfaction. (Note: This kind of team restructuring can also be used as an icebreaker.)
When you do create new teams, remember to do a quick icebreaker so students will feel more comfortable with each other and be more willing to share their thinking. Specific icebreakers are not always included in the text, so you will want to choose one of your own that fits into your lesson plan. There are several icebreakers to choose from and additional ideas at http://cpm.org/study-team-support.
This week is an excellent time for a Participation Quiz if you have not done one already. See the assessment handbook in the front tabs of your teacher’s edition for multiple suggestions on ways to do Participation Quizzes. Each chapter assessment plan suggests where a participation quiz might be appropriate. Concentrate on team skills that you want to see improved. A video of a participation quiz is at http://cpm.org/video-models.