Working with Teams and Team Work

(Modified from NSTA Guidelines)

Teaching Strategies:Teaching Strategies:


? Promoting Relationships and Incorporating Communication Skills

Study partners: As part of a review for an exam, group students in pairs to question each other about the study material.

Teachers of the day: Assign small groups to short-term projects. Students can divide responsibilities and give oral reports to the class.

Team challenge: Have students, either individually or in pairs, answer questions prior to a test or exam to earn bonus points. The process will be helpful if students receive points for correct answers but no penalty for incorrect answers.

Jigsaw: Have each group member read a portion of a reading assignment and report on their part. You can quiz on the entire area of study.

Interviews: Have members of the group role-play a person or concept and have another member interview them. This is a good way to introduce facts and make the process fun.

Puzzles: Give vocabulary words to the group and have them make a crossword puzzle. This could also be used for an intergroup activity--the groups can exchange puzzles and solve them.

Drawing: Ask the students to illustrate a concept with cartoon characters. Include the scientific fact with the cartoon.

Dramatization: Have the group write an original play using parts of a concept or material to be memorized, such as chemical elements or parts of a cell.

Who am I?: Assign to groups a person or concept that they present to the other groups in the format of guessing who or what is being described. This idea works well with gas laws, location of elements, and classification of biological animals and plants.

Building project: Assign to groups parts of a concept and have them build their part. For example, students can build a periodic chart from index cards that the groups make. Or, give groups a part of the photosynthesis process and have them fit it into a factory or other structure. Materials can be as simple as paper and paste or play dough.

Build memory hooks: Have the students use letters to make sentences or phrases to help remember sequences, pathways, or concepts. For example: atomic sublevels (s, p, d, fsome poor dumb fool) or the great lakes (HOMES--Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior).

Report writing: Have students write a technical report on a lab experiment using research and reporting. Emphasis should be placed on the following:

? Data should be organized and illustrated in an orderly and easy-to-read fashion.

? Reports should be written in third person. Eliminate "I did this, and then I did that."

? Students should analyze the methods used and give conclusions, especially if the data collected do not fit the results expected.


Forming Team Groups


The definition of "team" is any group with a common goal and ownership or shared responsibility in achieving the goal. Students should change groups no more than once during a grading period to allow for consistency in grading and for developing skills in working with others.

Pairs or groups of four are most effective.

When students select their own groups, they have an opportunity to display responsibility and learn how to take initiative in social situations. If frequent problems exist, assign groups.

Establish opportunities for students to learn to accept constructive feedback, whether positive or not, and use appropriate responses to feedback.


Problem Solving in Groups


Manystudents get bored with routines, while others find solace in a routine. Working in a group will help students learn methods of coping with different situations and with change in the business world.

Recognition of group goals is accomplished using the scientific method of starting with the question.

Acceptance of team goals is obtained by brainstorming methods to solve the problem.

Students work together to form plans to solve the problem, including the role of each group member.

Prioritizing and managing time involves planning a procedure that allows the task to be completed in a timely manner. Scheduling actual parts of the procedure teaches timing.

Students delegate tasks by organizing the group with duties for each member. Below are suggested titles to organize the team. Depending on the size and membership of the group, some of the following roles will not be effective tools. Each member should have a specific responsibility.

Coordinator and group spokesperson: divides procedures to be completed and speaks for the group.

Taskmaster: encourages group to stay focused.

Leader: responsible for overall team function.

Recorder: responsible for data records.

Facilitator: equipment and supply procurer.

Safety monitor: safe procedure and time manager or other responsibilities as needed.

Quiet captain: keeps the noise level down.