As mentioned in a previous post I recently ran a CBL unit in my classroom with students working on solutions in small groups for the first time. This seemed daunting but it actually was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. For the most part, teams worked together efficiently and the classroom ran smoothly when I thought chaos was sure to reign.
One idea I introduced was group member tasks; each member of the group had a set responsibility that allowed the groups to work together with all jobs being filled. I know this is an old idea but I’ve never used it before and it worked like a dream. The quiet kids got a chance to be heard, the bossy kids had to step back and concentrate on their own jobs, the kids that previously rode on the wave of the group had to fulfil a job so they wouldn’t let down the team down, and most importantly, everyone got a lanyard. Nothing makes people feel important like a lanyard does.
- Chairperson: not the boss, but the facilitator. The chairperson has to run votes on decisions, make sure all group members get a say and no-one dominates conversations.
- Documenter: this person keeps all notes, pictures, papers and documents and bits and pieces that accumulate throughout the project. They take photos and videos of tasks as they group complete them, and are responsible for having footage for the group’s solution video.
- Scribe: self-explanatory and very difficult for grade 2s! They take notes on all important decisions and discussions and are in charge of any writing that takes place, such as on posters.
- Reporter: this person reminds the group what they are up to each time they meet, and are responsible for filling in the teacher on progress during group conferences, and report back to the class on what the group is doing.
- Resource getter: a fancy title, to be sure. They quite obviously collect resources (such as iPads, paper, construction materials) when needed, and is the only person allowed to ask the teacher for help when it is needed (and the group CANNOT continue without help).
Are there any roles you think are important that I’ve missed?
How do you manage responsibilities within groups?