Rally Table is one of the co-operative structures described by Spencer Kagan in his ‘structures’ approach to co-operative learning. The structure is a versatile and adaptable one which can be used to bring two pairs together to make a larger group of four. There is a high degree of interaction between students at all times.
Sharing information, developing ideas, helping simple recall
Sharing information, listening, working independently, talking quietly.
In this structure teams of four first work as pairs. The teacher sets an open-ended task or asks a problem for which there may be a number of solutions. There are then two ways in which this structure can be introduced;
P I G S F
High. The group works together to produce one product for their learning.
Students share ideas with each other and every student makes a contribution. Can begin with, or lead to, individual work.
High. All students are involved at all times within this structure.
Rally table is a very versatile structure that can be used in any curriculum area. It is a simple way of bringing two pairs together to create a larger group with a common aim and purpose. Establishing prior knowledge of a subject at the beginning of a lesson is always useful as is having a definite starting point for a plenary
Group response after a Rally Table activity could be oral (see Numbered Heads Together), a graphic representation, bullet points, Venn diagrams (my thoughts, your thoughts, shared thoughts) or any other form of written or pictorial response.
Rally table is an excellent way to bring students together into a group to share information, develop ideas and encourage individuals to work independently and with confidence. The flexibility of approach is suited to students who initially have problems working independently or conversely, have problems working within a group.
See also Round Robin and Variations.