Reflection: Student Grouping Part One - Submersible Model: Soda Cup Lander - Section 1: NGSS Connection and Lesson Preparation


Team Organization and Material Accountability

I made 8 teams, 3 students in each team. I wanted the teams small enough so that everyone could handle the materials and large enough so that if one student was absent there were still 2 team members to carry on.

As much as possible I wanted to balance the groups so that my 'take charge' students were spread out and to place at least one high reader in each team. For those students that are reluctant to engage collaboratively I placed them with students that would not be too overbearing in the hopes this would help encourage him or her to interact with the other 2 members.

With the 'smartboard' program I made a page with the students' names and team number. On a second page I made a classroom map and indicated where each team would sit. I did this to save time transitioning to team spots. I coordinate team materials with team numbers. This helped hold students accountable for their lab equipment.

How Did It Work

Some students were disappointed not to be with their friends. In the groups that had friends, they did not need as much time to establish their group dynamics. Due to the number of students in a group, 3, some students were disappointed to be with only girls or only boys and were more passive with interacting with the other 2. 

It definitely helped to make a class map to indicate where the teams would work. I only needed to show the map on the first lesson, after that the students knew where to go. This definitely helped with transition time. Associating the materials with each team, helped to hold student's accountable. If there was something missing from one of the tubs, I knew which team to call back to look for the items.

What Would I Try Next Time

If I still wanted the 3 per group and wanted to encourage students to work outside their comfort zone with classmates that they may not regularly hang out with, I may try some team building activities a week before the actual labs start. I will consider making boy and girl groups. I would love to hear what other have tried.

  Student Grouping: Making Groups and Setting-up Materials
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Part One - Submersible Model: Soda Cup Lander

Unit 3: Unit 3 - Deep Ocean to Rocky Shore Adaptations and Submersible Designs
Lesson 4 of 12

Objective: SWBAT develop questions and use a diagram (schematic) to explain how 'soda cup lander' descends and ascends in water.

Big Idea: Engineers learn how a 'soda cup lander' works and collaborate and plan with peers to modify the 'soda cup lander' to address a selected challenge.

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