About Inside Outside Circle
The cooperative learning strategy inside outside circle is a sharing or discussion based learning strategy that allows students to work with multiple partners. Inside outside circle works best when used with the whole class, or a large group.
How to Use the Cooperative Learning Strategy Inside Outside Circle
- Students are divided into two equal groups.
- The first group forms a circle facing outward.
- The second group forms a circle facing inward, the outer circle, and across from a member of the inner circle to make partners.
- The teacher prompts students to answer a question or share something they have done.
- The inner circle partner goes first, followed by the outer circle partner.
- Partners that one another for sharing their responses.
- The teacher gives directions on how to rotate.
- I like to mix up rotations. For example, one time I may tell the inner circle to move three partners to their left or the outer circle to move one partner to their right.
Pro tip: only have one of the circles rotate after each turn, but vary which circle it is.
Pro tip two: when asking students to rotate a certain number of partners, have the whole class count aloud as they rotate.
- Repeat the process for as long as time allows or until out of prompts.
When to Use Inside Outside Circle
Inside outside circle can be combined with other strategies such as quiz quiz trade with task cards to include more content in the strategy.
Inside outside circle is NOT a strategy to use when students need to show their work or write down answers.
What is the Teacher’s Role in Inside Outside Circle?
Occasionally, if there are an odd number of students I have participated in the structure myself to make the circles even.
Are you looking for more information on cooperative learning strategies? Check out The Ultimate Cooperative Learning Strategies Guide.
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