Cooperative Learning Strategy: Fan & Pick

Are you looking for more cooperative learning strategies to add to your list? Check out Fan & Pick and why collaborative learning is such a powerful tool in the elementary classroom!
The cooperative learning strategy Fan & Pick is one of my students' favorites! It is easy to implement, completed as a team, and can be used with any content area or just as a team builder! As you know I am a big fan of group learning, and this definitely fits the bill.

About Fan & Pick

The collaborative learning strategy Fan & Pick is best completed in a group of four as there are four roles for students to complete. It can be done with groups of 3 or 5, but I really try my hardest to make groups of 4. This strategy is great for encouraging collaborative learning, because with the detailed roles assigned to students they each have "skin in the game" with positive interdependence. 

What materials do I need for the Fan & Pick strategy?

One of the things that I love so much about Fan & Pick is that you can use regular old task cards for it. You can also cut up a worksheet into individual questions or created your own "long" task cards with questions.

A couple of things to keep in mind when choosing materials for Fan & Pick is that you want to have an answer key available for each team of students to use. You also want to make sure that students should be able to verbally answer the question without having to write anything down. For example, answering a math fact such as, "What is the sum and 3 and 6?" would be great, a multi-step word problem that requires calculations and processing would not. 

Directions for Fan & Pick

Are you looking for more cooperative learning strategies to add to your list? Check out Fan & Pick and why collaborative learning is such a powerful tool in the elementary classroom! 1. Establish a group of four
2. Use the "role placemat" to assign roles to students.
3. Student A then fans out the cards and says, "Pick a card, any card!"
4. Student B chooses a card at random and reads it to the group.
3. Student C answers the question.
4. Student D either praises or coaches student C (if coaching I teach "tip, tip, tell" details below.)
5. The "role placemat" is rotated so that student A becomes student B and so forth, and the process is repeated.
6. Continue to repeat the process for your allotted time.

Of note: I usually have students place the card that has been answered back into the Fan & Pick pile to be used again. This allows multiple students practice with the same question. I do however tell students that if they draw the same card twice they have to choose a second one.

How to Differentiate Fan & Pick

The Fan & Pick cooperative learning strategy is a great activity to complete with any students, because of the fact that you can use any content. This means that you are automatically able to make the content accessible for your students by including questions that meet their needs. 

In addition to this, Fan & Pick is a great collaborative activity for ELLs because they have built in peer support. It is student D's job to be the coach for the student answering the question, and because they have the answer key they are the expert. They can provide support to other students through helping them to read the question as well as answer it. Additionally, but reusing the same set of hards throughout the 

The collaborative nature of Fan & Pick and the positive interdependence it builds is a great team building exercise that encourages students to work together towards their common goal.

Ready to go?

Are you ready to try out Fan & Pick with your students? Sign up below for a FREE "Get to Know You" Fan & Pick!  Once you are hooked on Fan & Pick check out these resources in my store. 



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