I would start with random groups and use those to see how students work together and the different types of students you have. You can always make changes, but it is hard to know ahead of time how a group of students will work together, so I like to do random groups and change them frequently.
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My teacher when i was in 5th grade she numbered us off 1-5 and she sent us to a conter with what number we had a that was our group.
Another idea would be to give a short survey asking about learning styles (Are you talkative in groups? etc.) then using that plus your knowledge of students, you can group them. I also agree with Lauren though, I often randomly group students in the beginning and then change up as we get to know one another.
I know that my idea will need lots of fine tuning. What I do is I let them pick their own. This is what I refer to as thei home teams. I lay down the terms like if they don't show productivity, I reserve the right to dissolve them. Working in teams is a privilege. Actually I reserve the right to make any changes at any time. And then I assign them into break-out groups by numbering them off or otherwise depending on a task. I remind them again of how they can keep this privilege.
Here's one teacher who goes against the grain and I agree:
here's another related vid
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