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Fenwick Fenwick is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 373
Senior Member

Fenwick
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 373
Senior Member

Old 03-28-2019, 09:41 PM
 
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...We made water bottle rockets and shot them off in the practice field. The entire time they sat in the bleachers or grass and picked grass. This was a group project and the class days they had to work on their rockets involved them just staring at each other with only a few words shared between them. Some of the groups made separate rockets at home and did nothing in class. ...


I was taught when organizing groups there are two objectives: (1) social (2) academic. If either of these are done quick and sloppy that's where your problems will occur. Before I introduce a project I, first, teach "group skills". I never assume students know how to share, take turns, disagree/agree, facilitate, record or any other social skills. Each one of the individual roles of each student within the group is taught like a full lesson - from input and checking for understanding to modeling to guided practice to closure. Then groups are given a "practice problem" to solve and are scored on their ability to use interpersonal skills as taught. This usually takes a whole period. Without any attention to social skills you are likely to get whatever students feel like giving you. This is, also, why some students don't participate or show any interest. They have learned from experience why try? They take the tact that follows the saying, "Better to shut my mouth and let them think I'm stupid than to open it and remove any doubt".
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