Working in Groups

November 12, 2018

     One way that students work together at LHS is by working in smaller groups to inspire learning and social interaction.  In any given week, students are collaborating to meet certain goals. Sometimes this is simply pairing up with a peer and assisting each other with a similar assignment.  Other times this means working in small groups of 3 or more students systematically to work on their tasks.  There are multiple methods to participate in an academic group. One scientifically proven method would be to use the Jigsaw Method where students research a topic individually and then meet with other members of different small groups to discuss their topic. They then go back to their original group and share information they learned to complete a project.  

     Another way to approach groups might be where each person in a group of 3 or 4 has a role.  For example, there might be an assignment to study the division of a cell. If students were to make a summary and art project representing cell division, then there could be two people that study and share about cell division, one person to gather and construct the art project, and one student to assist with study and discussion and write the summary.  Yet another way to group students together in socially and academically beneficial groups would be group rotations.  This is the method I have been helping to integrate into some of my classes.  In my co-taught American History class, students occasionally work on assignments by rotating to different stations to accomplish tasks.  These groups might include a vocabulary matching activity with words from our list involving the 1940s followed by a review of a National Geographic synopsis of World War II.  Another group might be participating in an online interactive quiz involving the same war while another will review and take notes on a WWII presentation.

     The world of learning is never ending and so are social interactions.  We hope that students take away positive interactions not only with their peers, but also with the content they are learning.  They can hopefully use what they learn in ways they might not see right away. Having groups similar to this should benefit students by providing opportunities for them to work together toward a common interest.  According to Illinois Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, “[w]orking in small groups provides learners with opportunities to articulate ideas and understandings, uncover assumptions and misconceptions, and negotiate with others to create products or reach consensus” (2018).  In life after high school, students will have to work in jobs that require accomplishing tasks with peers usually. If students can gain some of the skills necessary for this, then it is well worth it.

 

Work Cited

Teaching & Learning. (2018). Illinois Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL). Retrieved from https://citl.illinois.edu/citl-101/teaching-learning/resources/teaching-strategies/group-learning

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