Here are a Few Quick Tips to Get You Going!
As we have moved from one year to the next in our STEM lab I have noticed that my fifth graders are the easiest group to work with. They have already had STEM as third and fourth graders with me. When they are divided into groups they move right through our planning procedures with very little drama. The younger students…not so much!
In fact, two years ago I also took on first and second graders in a STEM class. Oh, my. The way they tackled STEM projects was new to me. They were very excited about building anything– as long as each of them could build their own structure. We had to work out a routine for building at this age just like my big kids.
So, let’s simplify this with some easy tips that will help you with grouping and teaching teamwork:
- Create a Teamwork Event
- Add Some Fun in Choosing Teams
- Add a Surprising Twist to the “Teamwork”
- Build on Teamwork Strategies
- Decorate with Teamwork Posters
Create a Teamwork Event
Add Some Fun in Choosing Teams
I am often asked how I divide students into groups. I actually have four methods:
- Ticket Choice– I hand out colored tickets at the door to create a totally random arrangement. The tickets match the colors of our tables and students go and sit at that table. (The supply tubs on the tables are different colors.)
- Free Choice– Kids choose their own seating. (This can be problematic with students that make poor choices, but I reserve the ability to move them.)
- My Choice– I assign their seats. I do this sometimes with challenges that need more than four students or for something that I feel a random choice will not work. Or substitute days. (It’s time-consuming to assign seats.)
- Job Choice– I hand out job assignment tickets at the door. These are also in colors that match our tables and it is random. (These are fun because the students are assigned a job rather than choosing one.)
Add a Surprising Twist to the “Teamwork”
Build on Teamwork Strategies
And What About Posters?
Links for You:
- Five Things I Learned about STEM from First Graders!
- A Unique Tower Has Fascinating Results
- There is No I in Team
- Back to School Rules Challenge FREEBIE
- Can You Hear Me Now? (Satellite Dish Challenge post)
- Teamwork Posters
- Poster Printing Tips
Summer Series 2018
- Part 1- How to Get Your Money’s Worth with STEM Resources
- Part 2 -Is the Engineering Design Process Really Important?
- Part 3 -How to Make the Most of STEM Materials
- Part 4- The Most Overlooked Step of the EDP
- Part 5-The Heart of STEM – Problem Solving
- Part 7 – The Must-Haves for Your STEM Decor