Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Group Work, Collaboration, and Pin it to Win it!

I absolutely LOVE this quote by Henry Ford!

We've been working really hard this year to get our First graders used to the idea of COLLABORATION...

Teamwork at it's best....

But, come on! They are still First Graders. 

Teamwork is a skill that HAS to be taught, practiced, and reviewed often.

Here are some of the problems that are common when students are first introduced to a "GROUP" task or project.

There are:

1. Students who decide to just "join" other groups in the middle of tasks.
2. Students who like to yell at everyone else in the group, hoping the louder they are, the more people will just do what they want them to do...
3. Students who sit back...take a nap...crawl under the table...meanwhile the rest of the group is hard at work.
4. Students who don't have any ideas to share, but insist that all ideas others give are _________ (fill in that blank..."dumb" "stupid" "lame" "weird"....
5. Students who think group work time is the perfect time to talk about their shoes, nail polish, hair, boys/girls, what they want to eat for lunch...
6. Students who get overwhelmed with the chaos of their group and break down in tears...

This list is longer for some...shorter for some...but I KNOW that we have all had at least ONE of these scenarios happen in our classrooms at one point or another during group projects.

When it happens, don't you just wanna do this??

Or maybe walk outside and scream????

BUT, maybe there is something you can do to prevent this!
See, when I first started teaching, I just assumed that kids knew how to work in groups. 
No one ever taught me that I would need to teach students "HOW" to work together with other students. I didn't think about the fact that my class would have students who are alpha's, coasters, worriers, copiers...etc.

So, in the past few years, I have used classroom management and GROUPWORK "training" to help prepare my students for working in groups.

I start off small by having them complete specific tasks with a partner. While they do this, both before, and after, we talk about the DO'S and DON'Ts of working with a partner (or group).

This has helped my classroom TREMENDOUSLY, and so, I thought...hey, why not make this for other teachers to use??

SO I DID! I created a GROUP WORK POSTERS set that also includes a "Rate your Group Experience" survey.
The poster set gives clear examples of what to do and what not to do in groups. It is super cute...super colorful...and looks great hanging on a wall where students can see it!

Would you like a copy of this GROUP WORK posters set???
Here's your chance!
Pin this post and or picture above and leave a comment with your pin link below. This weekend, I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner and I'll email it to you! 
Start Pinning!


  1. We have no idea what you're taking about?!?
    All of our students sit harmoniously together and share their intellectual ideas while validating those who differ from their own. Oh-and we sing Kumbaya. Screeeeeetch-- Um yep. Right there with ya sista!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  2. Yep seen all of those scenarios!


    Adventures in Room 5

    1. HA! Glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for pinning!

  3. Here's my pin link: http://pinterest.com/pin/266838346643744419/

    I would LOVE to win this. I am beginning to realize how important it is to teach students how to work together.

    Compassionate Teacher

    1. Becky, it is SO WORTH teaching the skill of group work....really can make a huge difference! :)

  4. Pinned! With CC expectations, we all need to teach collaboration and my school has decided to really focus on the 4 C's next year. Great idea!

    1. Absolutely! CC and collaboration go HAND in HAND!

  5. Just pinned! :)
    Teaching With Style


I love reading your comments! :)

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