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Overview:

We know that students read and learn best when they are actively engaged. Researchers report that, regardless of the subject matter, many students working in small reading groups tend to learn more and retain it longer versus when the same content is presented in other instructional formats. Students who work in collaborative groups also appear more satisfied with their classes. Other long-term benefits include engaging in metacognitive skills due to the constant re-examination and clarification of the group's goals as projects evolve, the setting higher and more consistently applied standards by assuming/requiring student competence and ownership of the work, and the inclusion of all students in the project. All of these promote positive relationships with instructors and overall successful classroom experiences.

Students, however, may be resistant to working in groups. After elementary school, their education is often more individualized so that collaboration may feel like "cheating" to them.  Or, perhaps they have been discouraged with previous experiences where one person dominated a group, perhaps scheduling meetings became a logistical nightmare, or maybe they simply felt that "If I want something done right, I have to do it myself." We would suggest, though, that these negative experiences occurred because students weren't offered strategies for working with reading groups.