Group work in math class?

Here’s an email I quickly wrote sharing my general ideas of group work with another math teacher. Similar ideas from a few years back can be found here.

Nice to meet you. Group work is a process that takes time to develop, especially if other teachers in your school don’t lean into the structures as much. I recommend trying it on and seeing if a small group of other teachers are willing to try it out too.

Here are the group roles I use.  


I lean heavily on task managers to get the group started quickly. If you’re curious about the cups I use for resource managers reach out @ulrichedu. While the kids are doing group work I usually narrate what I want to see the different managers should be doing/ saying like “group managers, check in with the group and make sure everyone understands. If people are copying they may not understand.”
I also try before we start to share the norms for the given activity as well as the math ideas students will need to be successful. Here’s an example from today: 


Here’s an example of a reading guide I gave out today:
I also modeled the positive things groups were doing with Mr. Pinsky (online tool – see this for more) and wrote some Huskies (PBIS) to celebrate the strong work I saw. It’s a process and takes time in a classroom to develop the culture, especially if your team isn’t as aligned around group work strategies.
Always happy to share resources or chat. Let me know if you’d like to connect more or collaborate in the future! @ulrichedu

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