So, we work in groups and it generally goes really well. My first year, I chose groups which we changed about once a quarter. They were set up to be people that would work together well, quiet people with friends who would help them, slow workers together, etc. It was great and it helped a lot of students. Last year, for some reason, a lot of the time the students picked their own groups. I let them choose at the beginning of the year, and they just worked really well in their own chosen groups. I'm going back to hand-chosen groups this year. It cuts down on the drama, and I think it reinforces that we're in this group for a very specific purpose, not just hanging with friends.
I do want to be really clear with my students what I expect from them. So, I'm going to reference some 'expectations,' which I'll hang on the wall. Here is a link to an editable dropbox file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v6y199i01c3y1lw/Group%20Work%20Process.docx?dl=0.
And here are images of the poster (both pages). The font I used is Hello Just Sayin.
The cups are traffic light cups to help me understand where groups are. I like it 1) as a group self-assessment tool, 2) as a way for the group to have to talk to each other, not just to me, and 3) as a quick way for me to see how we're doing. Too many red cups tells me we should regroup and review.
I got the idea from Sarah at Math=Love, and I'm excited to use it.
What do you think? Are my expectations clear? Do they cover the basics?