Remember: more effort in August and September on study teams and expectations makes less work the rest of the year. Hold a classroom discussion this week about what makes a good team using a Think-Ink-Pair-Share. Then have your students create posters that define what a good team “Looks Like, Sounds Like and Feels Like.” Using these posters and a Math Chat or Gallery walk will help students to envision the expectations of a well-functioning team. Giving feedback as to how the teams are doing will encourage teamwork and build confidence!! Ideas for effective feedback strategies include providing a written note to each team, holding a classroom conversation about what you or the students see, passing out positive comments to each team as you circulate, or administering an ungraded participation quiz.
Making sure that team tables/desks are cleared and that there are no ‘walls’ between team members will foster better discourse and make room for working collaboratively. If you are using eBooks, there should probably be no more than two computers open in a team. Otherwise, communication will suffer.
A reminder: If students are struggling with homework in Chapter 1, they should be getting help immediately as the topics in the homework are assumed to be topics they should have mastered from a previous course. CPM Homework Help is a great resource to share with students at this time. Be aware of issues of access to this online resource and brainstorm ways to provide it in cases where the need arises.
Remember Chapter 1 is an overview of the course and mastery of classroom topics is not expected. Have fun with these introductory, team-building lessons! As students have success in class they will have fun, too!
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING EXPECTATIONS
T E A M S (in your book)
Is this your first year using CPM? See “Advice for first-year teachers,” August/September 2001, in the newsletter archives at the CPM website.