Collaborative Student Groups

Color Teams

Color Teams are teams that students form themselves within the rotation groups that I have created. Students usually work in their Color Teams when we conduct a group task. When students are working in their teams, I encourage them to use academic discourse and math vocabulary words. Given that students spend a significant amount of time working independently on digital content in my blended classroom, Color Teams are an important structure to foster productive group work among my students.

Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Rubric
 
 
The teamwork rubric is a tool used to develop my pupils' ability to acquire and develop more effectively when speaking in a group, and seek out support. Each day during our mini lessons students use the rubric to ask for help, give feedback, compliment, reflect and empathize with their peers. The main purpose of the teamwork is to hold teammates accountable, encourage improvement, increased participation by all students no matter their level of speaking capability.
Student Data
 
 
This is a point tracking poster I use monthly to encourage collaboration, teamwork, positive verbal statements and exchanges in the whole group and small groups, and a shared sense of pride. The teams are heterogeneous and student roles are chosen by students or may often be randomly drawn using our “numbered heads” strategy. At the end of a month, all teams are rewarded with a class board game time, brief movie, or a homework-free day.
Students In Action
 
 
Rubric
 
 
The teamwork rubric is a tool used to develop my pupils' ability to acquire and develop more effectively when speaking in a group, and seek out support. Each day during our mini lessons students use the rubric to ask for help, give feedback, compliment, reflect and empathize with their peers. The main purpose of the teamwork is to hold teammates accountable, encourage improvement, increased participation by all students no matter their level of speaking capability.
Student Data
 
 
This is a point tracking poster I use monthly to encourage collaboration, teamwork, positive verbal statements and exchanges in the whole group and small groups, and a shared sense of pride. The teams are heterogeneous and student roles are chosen by students or may often be randomly drawn using our “numbered heads” strategy. At the end of a month, all teams are rewarded with a class board game time, brief movie, or a homework-free day.
Freddy Esparza
Aspire Titan Academy
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Third grade
Similar Strategies
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Rotation Enables Small Group Lessons

At Aspire Titan Academy, we use a rotational model where some students engage with interactive software, enabling small group lessons for others. Our students have 90 to 120 minutes of individual computer time daily. Our rotational model is currently evolving to use more programs and create more rotations. The goal is to increase the opportunities for small group instruction where we can better meet individual needs.

Number of Students: 26 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; various other adults support during specific times (e.g., Blended Learning Coordinator, Special Education Teachers, etc.)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 60 minutes--two 30  minute rotations (Math Block)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: DreamBox

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Lenovo ThinkPads (1:2 ratio); SMARTboard; Document Camera; iPad (for teacher)

Key Features: station rotation; student agency


 
Collaborative Student Groups
Mentor Reading

Mentor Reading is a researched-based fluency strategy used with readers who lack fluency. In this strategy, my students read aloud to each other. When using partners, my more fluent readers are paired with less fluent readers, which in this case a 3rd grader is paired with kindergartener. My students read a story that they have already read or read a story from their Kinder buddy's book box. When done purposefully and consistently, my students have become very fluent readers and enjoy reading more.

 
Whole-Group Instruction
Mystery Problem

This strategy is a biweekly problem solving investigation on recently learned content. Typically students will be given sample scanned answers that I have hand selected. These problems have been previously solved. Students meet on the carpet for the mystery problem reveal. We also cover what the goal of our session will be using a checklist/success rubric. They are then dismissed to investigate in teams. The students select manipulatives to discuss, develop an agreed upon idea, and critique which student(s) response they agree with/why. If a team finishes early they can work on they "Step ahead" which is harder differentiated task. Finally they use the checklist to self reflect if they were successful during the mystery problem session.

 
 
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