Activity aim: To facilitate peertopeer / cooperative teaching (or review); to reinforce / review content; to get students to visualize abstract content in more concrete ways
Materials + time needed:
Activity 1: A list of vocabulary words or other information to sort (such as these rational number cards from this website).
Time: About 510 minutes (longer if there are questions).
Activity 2: White board marker (students will need pen or pencil and paper)
Time: About 1520 minutes
Activity descriptions:
Information sorts with communicative objectives can be a fun way to facilitate peertopeer instruction. There are many ways to set up information sorts. Here are a few examples.
Activity 1: Rational numbers information sort (modified from Lindsey Cain’s “Literacy Strategies for the Math Classroom”)
1. Divide the class into two smaller groups.
2. Each student gets a number from these cards (or a list of other information to sort, such as order of the components of a lab report, etc.).
3. Working together, each team needs to put themselves in order from the number with the lowest value to the number with the greatest value.
4. The other team should check each other’s work before the instructor gives the answers.
Activity 2: Sorting chart
This works well with activities that involve words (or possibly formulas / symbols).
1. Draw this chart below on the board, and also give students a vocabulary list:
Natural numbers
Coefficient
Variable
Polynomial
Distributive property
Quadratic equation
I have no idea!  I might know these…  I definitely know these (and I can think of an example) 




2. Students should draw this chart on a piece of paper alone, at first, and then put the appropriate words in their boxes that are true for them.
3. When they’ve finished doing this, they can compare their charts with the person (or people) next to them. Do they have any words in the same boxes? Are there any words in one student’s “I might know these” or “I definitely know these” boxes that appear in another student’s “I have no clue” box? If so, one student should teach the other(s).
4. The instructor could repeat this activity with increasingly larger groups, or could ask students to come to the board and write one word from each category in the chart at the front of the room while everyone’s still talking. Then, get students’ attention and ask them to compare their charts to the one on the board. Are there any words in the “I don’t know these!” category that they (or their group) could teach the class?
5. Finally, conduct a whole class feedback where different groups of students teach the rest of the class the words until everything is moved into the “definitely” box.