Reflection: Shared Expectations Cells 'R Us Work Days 4-5 - Section 2: Work Days


Although project based learning provides students with opportunities to go beyond the content and helps develop creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration, it also comes with its own set of problems. Students involved in a project such as this one will also need to learn what to do when conflicts arise. 

Borrowing from Penn State's "Building Blocks for Teams", I ask students who face a conflict to individually reflect on the problem using the following questions as a guide:

  1. What are we supposed to accomplish as a team?
  2. What are each of our roles and responsibilities in accomplishing that goal?
  3. What are we doing that is blocking the resolution of this problem?
  4. How can we express differences without blaming others?
  5. Which behaviors are unproductive? How can we help individuals take ownership of their unproductive behavior?

Once the students are ready, I facilitate a team meeting, where the conflict is shared and discussed using the same reflective questions. This usually takes care of the problem, as students are given a safe environment to voice concerns and hold themselves and each other accountable for their behaviors.

In rare instances, I have needed to intervene further and disband a team. However, this is the last resort, and I make it clear to the students that they cannot just join a different team. If a team is disbanded, each individual has to complete the project individually.

  When All is Not Well
  Shared Expectations: When All is Not Well
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Cells 'R Us Work Days 4-5

Unit 4: Cell Processess
Lesson 14 of 18

Objective: Students will use their knowledge of cell organelles and cell processes to develop an analogy for the cell.

Big Idea: Big models make for big understanding

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