Reflection: High Expectations Let's Go, TEAM! Collaborative Argument Quiz & Jeopardy - Section 3: Building Knowledge


This portion of the lesson went off better than I could have ever dreamed that it would.  While the time constraint did put some strain on students, continually reassuring them to do their best set them more at ease and allowed them to work with focus and at a pace I rarely see when assessments (or homework, or even classwork, for that matter) are not timed.  Their individual push to get this quiz done was exceptional, and when I allowed them time to work collaboratively, it's like their efforts redoubled!  There was just this beautiful whir of keyboards clicking away, student conversations about the articles and questions, and not just, "what did you get for...".  Students were constructively debating answers with peers using evidence from the texts, complimenting one another, and obviously determined to get the quiz finished.  Out of almost 200 students, not a ONE of them showed apathy here, which I can honestly say has never happened.  When I asked students about this, they reported that they had already put in so much of their own effort on the project that by the time the group time came around (which they were unaware they would get at all), they didn't want to waste their hard work and do less than their best.  Additionally, they worked collaboratively more easily, which they attributed to the time demands making them forget about other things and just get it done by making a clear plan and trusting their partners.  Students said, and I concur, that the activity felt more like a game than a quiz, though the work was challenging, because of the time and group element added in on the end.

In retrospect, I feel foolish for not figuring out this method earlier.  I know that if I was a student sitting in that class, I would have been exactly the same way, especially since I am pretty competitive by nature!  As a teacher, the sheer joy I took away from watching them all work with so much effort, both individually and collaboratively, was enough of a reason to try this activity again!

One note that I will mention is that many of my students carry "extended time" IEPs on assessments, so I worked with the special education staff prior to this class period to let them (and their students) know what was going to happen in advance.  I did not want them to experience any friction trying to decide if they should stay in the classroom or go out (if their IEP allows them alternate testing locations) or to feel frustrated at their pace.  My student groups are set up purposefully based on learning styles and needs, so the groups that these students worked in were already good matches for these students.  After we completed this activity in class, special education teachers did touch base with students and complete the assignment with them where necessary to ensure that their IEP was accommodated.  Feedback from special education teachers did support that while their students' assignments were modified and they were not entirely completed in class, students felt like they got a lot out of working with their peers in such a team environment and appreciated the warning about the faux time restraint.

  Racing the Clock in a Collaborative Environment Leads to Splendid Results!
  High Expectations: Racing the Clock in a Collaborative Environment Leads to Splendid Results!
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Let's Go, TEAM! Collaborative Argument Quiz & Jeopardy

Unit 4: Arguing with the Transcendentalists Mini-Unit
Lesson 5 of 7

Objective: SWBAT identify claims and counterclaims linked with supporting evidence, transitions in informational text and graphics, and determine author's credibility through critical reading and collaborating with peers.

Big Idea: Collaboration on analyzing an immigration argument and teamwork in a Jeopardy! review game create a perfect balance for test preparation!

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cost of immigration
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