Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Setting Expectations for Group Work

I know...I know...you have heard me say this a million times.  It is important to have groups in science and to have individual jobs while you are working together!

So how do you introduce it the first time????

We begin by Introducing our science groups. Each group has 4 people in it (as best as possible - because I have 22 students I do have two groups with 5 in them).


Each child is assigned a color as you see.  Then I have a chart that shows the jobs. I can easily rotate the tiles daily to switch jobs.




We began working as groups by setting expectations.  If you are going to work as a group on a task, what do you need to do in order to be successful? And what do the jobs mean?





Then we worked on two simple tasks. The first was to work as a team to build a house of cards.
The next was to work as a team to solve a cup challenge. I love this second challenge! It is one I learned from FOSS several years ago and truly involves team work.  You will need 6 solo cups,1 rubber band and 4 strings (cut about 24 inches) for each team. To prep for the activity you will need to tie the string to the rubber band in four spots...like this...
Why?  It becomes your cup challenge tool.  Each person will hold on to one piece of the string and working together will manipulate the rubber band to grasp and move a solo cup.  Intrigued????
 
Get your students into their groups of four and send your Getter 1 to the materials spot to get 6 solo cups and one rubber band tool.
 
Students will need to make a structure that looks like this:
Have your Starter create this structure.
 
 
Then as a team, they will need to move the cups from this structure to a pyramid with three cups on bottom, then two cups then one on top.
 
 
These guys are showing you how to manipulate the tool and you can also see the finished product at the side.
 
When you are finished, have Getter 2 clean up the materials and return them to the materials spot.
 
And then, once everyone has returned to their seats, the Reporter from each group will share out what they did in their group that day (or in the future read their notebook entry.)
 
What do you think???
 
 
 
 




 

32 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, LOVE IT! Doing this tomorrow. :) Stumbled upon your site via Pinterest and have loved exploring the many applicable ideas. Thank you for taking the time to share them all!

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  3. This is such a great idea! I work as a customer service trainer and I am modifying this slightly to use a team building exercise. I am giving them all the materials, then they will have to figure out how to use them to move the cups from the center of one hula hoop and stack it in the center of another without touchingthe cups or leaning over the line. Thanks for sharing your idea!

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  4. Looks like a ton of fun! Thank you so much for sharing :)

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  5. Looks like a great activity! What kind of string did you use?

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  6. Just regular string! It was what ever I had in my arts/craft drawer. The key is the rubber band!

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  7. Thanks for sharing. I love the idea! What size rubber band do you use? Also, do I need to buy any particular type?

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  8. Is it a special rubber band? A certain size?

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  9. Approximately how long did this activity take?

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  10. I used whatever rubber band I had in my classroom desk. Nothing special! With the expectation setting, grouping timing and activity = it takes a total of about 20 minutes. You may stretch it out (no pun intended!)by letting them do it over and over again. Trust me, they love it!

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  11. Love it! Teambuilding is so important for groups that will be working together.

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  12. Are the students able to place the rubber band on the cups to move them or do they have to work together to stretch out the rubber band and place it over the cup? I am loving this activity to introduce team building in my class for the first week of school next week with my 2nd graders.

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  13. The whole idea is to work as a team to stretch the rubber band out and grab the cup. I have done this with 4th graders and adults. I am not sure if 2nd graders at the beginning of the year can do it without placing the rubber band on the cup. Bottom line - you know your students best! If you think they need to put the rubber band around the cup first, then do it! :)

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  14. Hi science gal!

    What would you suggest if you have 22 students? Right now I have them I'm groups of 3 and 4. Would 3 work?

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  15. Sure! You would just need to have someone hold two strings.

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  16. THANK YOU! I used this as a Day One problem solving activity for my 4th graders last Thursday. They LOVED it and so did I. Was great for teaching my group expectations and seeing who will need work on their cooperative skills without things getting messy. My kids left the first day saying "fouth grade is awesome!"

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  17. I have been using this idea for over 20 years. The variations are endless. My preference is to use cups of different sizes and have students dream up new structures to create. To add a little stress put water in the cups! Adding pebbles or sand can also help create different challenges. Kindergarten kids love this activity.

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  18. Love this idea. Will definitely be using it the first week! Thank you!

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  19. Found on Pinterest and completed today - the kids LOVED this!!! Thank you for sharing - we had a blast!!

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  20. I love, love, love this activity and I am going to try it out next week when we start! Thanks for sharing :)
    Cheers,
    Terri
    Terri's Teaching Treasures

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  21. Just completed the activity with 3rd graders. Had 3 strings on a rubber band with 3 students in a group. Worked wonderfully!!! Thank you for such a cool idea!

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  22. What an excellent activity! It sure would show you how each student works in a group. Thanks!
    -Lisa
    Grade 4 Buzz

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  23. Is there a data sheet you used?
    Thanks great idea!

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  24. so they can place cups on ground and change hands or strings with the other person? or do they have to flip them over holding the same string they started with?

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  25. Yes, they figure out how to flip it by switching the strings usually. Sometimes they are even more creative!

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  26. This idea will be used in my lesson tomorrow!!! AWESOME!

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  27. I did this with kids between 8 and 11 they LOVED it! Thanks for the great idea!

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  28. Thank you for sharing. Love it, can't wait to try it my 6th graders!

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  29. Thanks Leslie! I'm working at an international school in China and this will be perfect when we return from break in August.

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  30. Using this tomorrow for my cub scout group, definitely think they'll love it!

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  31. I used this idea last year with my class and they loved it. Do you have any other similar ideas that I could try this fall?

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