Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How can groups work together to be successful?

How can groups work together to be successful? This was the big question students answered today. I happened to ask students what group norms were and no one knew what I meant by group norms. I explained how group norms are a set of criteria that a group can create to help them be successful on a project. Many people in the business world are familiar with developing group norms!

Students had an opportunity to share their ideas about group norms. They suggested things like respecting ideas of others, making sure everyone in the group had a task, compromising, allowing everyone to share ideas, and listening to classmates. Students then had a chance to create a list of group norms they thought should be included on a list to help a team working on a project be successful. This prep work guided students as they met in their bridge teams to develop group norms that they could all agree on.

Students spent time talking about group norms and developing a list of 3-5 group norms for their bridge group. As we delve into our final project of the year having students create group norms will help them through this challenge of designing a bridge to hold a bucket of sand. I learned the value of this experience and will ask groups to create norms starting in September rather than June. Having them be part of the process empowered students to take ownership of their learning in a group setting.

Here are the norms groups’ thought would help them be successful in working together. What common themes do you notice?

Stay on task
Everyone should be working
Respect all opinions
Agree to disagree
Don’t try to take control

Stay on task
Disagree respectfully
Don’t rely on one person

Share work equally
Be sure to compromise
Stay on task
Be aware of other’s opinions
Agree to disagree

Be nice
Share work
Work together

Be open to new ideas
Do not put the work on ne person
Respect other’s ideas
Agree with your group

Equal share of work
Voice volume/focus
Be a good classmate

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