Monday, July 29, 2013

Let's Go, Team!

It's almost GO time for me; two weeks from today I'll be back at school preparing for a new year with a new group of seventh grade lovelies. This, of course, means that I will be working diligently these next two weeks (in between naps) to create a year of Wonder (our new school theme) in seventh grade.

I had the pleasure of giving a presentation on blogging to a group of teachers attending the MERIT program last week (you can find my resources here: When I wasn't presenting, I was able to attend a few great sessions including Roni Habib's session on creativity in schools. Thanks to Roni I have a pretty good idea of how I will introduce group work to my students this year. It begins with a video:

Before showing this video to students, I will ask them to keep in mind one question: What did it take for this group to create this video? After we watch it, I'll give them a minute or two to discuss the video with a neighbor as long as they brainstorm some answers to my question.

"Yes, I know it's cool...what else?"

I'm hoping they'll come up with answers that speak specifically to what it takes to work effectively in a group:

  • Communication. This must be clear, positive input, not destructive criticism. 
  • Collaboration. Everyone must do their part in order to create a quality product. 
  • Cooperation. Working well together often involves compromise. Get used to it!
And some non-C words:
  • Hard work. Do you think this group just showed up in New York and started filming?
  • Time. How much time do you think they spent practicing before filming? After filming...and filming again?

Do you have any other suggestions for introducing group work to middle school students? Please feel free to share them in the comments. Thanks!