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Group Work

 

I love to do projects and group projects but there's always groups where 1 or 2 people in each group do the entire project.  This year I wanted it to be different.   I realized that we need to teach the students how to work in a group especially after the last year and a half.  

I'm currently trying my first group project this year and it's a low risk project.  The students actually questioned me because they said it was fun and easy, they were waiting for the catch and math to be thrown in.  The students were tasked with creating a design for a cookie, finding a recipe, finding a charity to donate the proceed to if we were to sell it, and siting their work. 

We started by providing roles for the project. I had never thought about outlining 1 position for each member in the group.  Each person could pick the role that best suited them but only 1 person could do each role.  Communication and meeting deadlines is a struggle with projects so one person was the Project Manager. This person's job was to ensure everyone else did their job, communicate with classmates when they missed a deadline, and if needed communicate with me when a classmate was unresponsive.  

There was a learning curve for students as they learned to complete only their role and how to communicate with others to complete the groups project. 

After completing the project, the students were asked to reflect and one question was what would you do differently next time.  Most of the students shared they would take a more leadership role or communicate more often with their peers to ensure everyone was meeting the deadlines.  

While this project didn't involve math, it provided a great starting point for how students should work together in groups.  If you are struggling with group projects I'd suggest giving them each a role and making someone the project manager.  

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