Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Group Work Fail
Eighth grade math. They had an interesting group assignment:
Each group got a copy of that instruction sheet. Enough info, right? (I mean, even at this size it looks pretty detailed. If you want to see it better, just click on the image and it should get bigger.)
I'm sure you know where this is going...
First period. I briefly skimmed the instructions, pausing on the line, "Facilitator, read and share this with your group before beginning." So, that meant that as a group they'd read the instructions together, right? I was to leave them to go over those directions on their own? That's what I took it to mean.
That's not what happened.
Okay, then, I need to go over the page with them. No problem. Starting with second period and continuing with all the other classes, we read it together.
Now, you'd think that taking five minutes to go over the instructions in detail should be enough. Apparently not.
Not one period followed the directions. They did the math, mostly. But they didn't complete the page the way they were supposed to.
(Group work is a large component of Common Core. And they were preparing for a quiz. The point of the group stuff was to have those students who understood the concepts--triangle stuff--help those that didn't.)
I had them read their individual roles. I explained how the tasks were to be completed again after reading through it with them on the page. As I walked the room, I repeated to the groups how they were supposed to proceed.
Not a bit of it made an impression.
The students who knew what they were doing completed the page. The students who were struggling played around. They would not confer. They did not time anything. They did not work as a group.
I don't know if they grasped what they were supposed to do. It was as if the instructions were too much for them. That, or they turned off their brains the minute they saw a substitute teacher.
Sigh. Well, I tried. I'm not sure if they did.