3Cs: Collaborate, Cluster, Categorize

Document created by Natalie Laderas Employee on Apr 7, 2017Last modified by Natalie Laderas Employee on Jul 7, 2017
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As a way to summarize learning, students work in small groups to brainstorm and then organize what they learned from a lesson.


How This Strategy Promotes Learning

This strategy provides opportunities for students to clarify and build on the ideas of their peers, which helps them clarify their own understanding and develop a respect for the ideas of others.


This strategy may also provide information to the teacher about student understanding of the learning target and reveal possible patterns of student misconceptions.



How to Implement

Additional Tips

Provide students 10 slips of paper, note cards, or sticky notes. Each learner brainstorms 10 things learned during the day’s lesson in 30 seconds or less, writing one item on each note. As a warm-up the next day, have learners form teams and share their notes in a shared space (virtual, as in Google Docs™ or TodaysMeet or local, as in a whiteboard or piece of chart paper). Then, the team works to cluster the notes and categorize them.Some students are more concerned with protecting their social status in the classroom than they are with actual learning (growth mindset), which makes them reluctant to be public about what they don’t yet understand. Therefore, consider strategically developing the classroom culture to reward effort and growth in learning as much as or more than being “smart” or getting it right the first time.


This is a Formative Assessment Strategy from Activating Learners. Learn more about the workshop that features these strategies in Formative Instructional Practice.

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You can also learn about general formative assessment topics in the Formative Assessment Lobby.