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short_bread short_bread is offline
 
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Working in partners
Old 12-11-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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Its the time of uear where I am starting to get my students working in partners more and more frequently. This is particularly true in math class, because our curriculum (growing with math) calls for SO many manipulatives to be pulled. We are talking, pull 40 cubes for each child, which is a lot. So i have them work in pairs. The problem is, they don't seem to comprehend what that means...

The other day during math I had rainbow tiles pulled out for them and they were supposed to create ONE pattern with their partner. Yet many of them just started doing their own thing and then complained that they did not have enough tiles!!!

This time of year is tough (I'm sure you will agree) and my students seem to be listening less and less. Do I need to model what it looks like with a partner in order for them to understand what they need to do?

One of my teammates just makes partners and has one kid be partner 1 and the other partner 2. She gives very explicit directions. Perhaps this is what I should do.

What is your advice? I never thought I would have to model something so basic... but given where my students are coming from and what they are dealing with, I suspect that could be part of it.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

KP.


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partners
Old 12-11-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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Yes! Model it. A lot. This is basic to you but not to kids.
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Video
Old 12-11-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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I had a lot of trouble with this a few years ago. I found two students who made a really great partnership and I videotaped them working. I showed the video to my students and we talked about what made them such good partners. It really seemed to help.

In science, because each step of the activity is so specific, I use the Partner 1, Partner 2 strategy. It just keeps the arguing down and I can finish a lesson faster.

Hope that helps!
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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Yup, model. I usually have students model as a refresher each time we do partner activities as well. This year my kids do well but it depends on the class.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:39 AM
 
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Our math (Investigations) has asked for my kids to work in groups of 2 or 4 for most of the year. Unfortunately they can't handle it! I've modeled until I am blue in the face, but my kiddos still do what they want, don't share, or fight and argue. I've stopped trying and have modified games so that they play me, not a partner.
It's sad, but I've had this problem when I've taught 2nd and 3rd grade, although I had better luck with 3rd grade towards the end of the year. They don't seem to know how to play a game and take turns, wait for their turn, or pay attention to what the others in their group are doing. Playing video games is such a solitary activity and that seems to be what most of my kids do after school. Maybe that is part of the problem.


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I struggle with this in my class also and would love some ideas!!
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