Break Apart by Multiple Intelligence FIRST

Place at least one child with a parallel preference in each of your breakout groups. E.g., for a history lesson, place a child with and intra- or interpersonal preference in each breakout group; for a geography lesson, place a child with visual-spatial preference in each breakout group; for a life science lesson, place a child with naturalist preference in each breakout group.

Break Dominant Personality Type SECOND
(the middle character in the Myers-Briggs column)

Be sure to balance dominant types in a group, rather than weighting too heavily with Thinkers, Feelers, Sensors or iNtuitives. During a long-term project, it’s valuable to have the group see “all sides of the elephant”. By balancing the different dominant types in a group, you can ensure that the group won’t feel that one view is “right” while another is “wrong”, but that they all weave together to form a more complete picture of the assignment.

Break Judging/Perceiving & Extraversion/Introversion THIRD
(the first and last characters in the Myers-Briggs Column in your member dashboard)

Go for the balance of both of these type preferences in long-term project work. Use techniques as discussed in our Project Lesson page to manage conversation flow. At this stage, mixing Js and Ps can be incredibly beneficial. Balancing the group will make sure that the project scope is not too broad or narrow as a result of too much layering by the perceivers or not enough breadth from the judgers.

The beginnings of type management at this level needs to be facilitated by the teacher. Before breaking into the large groups, provide a deadline for the project, then look to the perceivers in your class to help shape the interim steps that need to be executed in order to achieve the long-term project goal.

Then, look to the judgers in your class to help develop the timeline for completion of each of the individual steps in order to hit the deadline you defined at the beginning. Now that you’ve got a framework, break the class up into judgers and perceivers. Take each of the specific tasks and ask the groups to define responsibilities for each group member and where, how, and with whom each group member will need to collaborate.

If there are certain sub tasks that need to be repeated several times during the project, suggest that the perceivers experiment their way through the 1st iteration, while the judgers document the steps and estimate timelines, then create interim deadlines for each iteration. In this way, both judgers and perceivers can complete their responsibilities without jeopardizing the final project submission because they’ve left too much until the last minute.

During each class time regroup, allow time for the breakout groups to focus on the scope of work for the next interim deadline. The perceivers will be able to take the knowledge they’ve gleaned from the previous deadline and recommend adjustments or expansions to the project. The judgers will be able to look at the timeline and help the perceivers understand what’s possible, given the timeline.

Break Cognitive Style FOURTH

Go for diversity at this stage of the game and try to vary the cognitive styles in each group, so that they will naturally employ a variety of techniques in group and homework and more fully absorb the material through the use of all modalities.

Other Breakout Group Types

Intro Lessons
Practice Lessons

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Effective Breakout Groups for Long-Term Projects