Using Team Roles to Review Expectations.
It is common for students to use and follow their team roles most effectively during the first few weeks of math class as the roles are explicitly written into the CPM textbook in the beginning lessons. And because, during the first weeks of school, most teachers take time to specifically teach and give feedback on how students are doing in their roles and functioning as team members, the importance of roles are foremost in everyone’s minds. However, by this time of year it is also common to find that the roles to have fallen by the wayside. If your teams are functioning at less than an optimal level, consider reviewing the expectations.
The use of team roles serves the purpose of establishing your expectations for teamwork and reinforces the requirement that each team member has value and all are expected to participate in teamwork. So anytime you come back to focus on the team roles you are reviewing your expectations for study team work. Students, over time, will come to understand that in an effective team all students are recording their work, staying on task, managing resources and facilitating discussions, and that thus the roles can be fluid within the team. Yet until they reach that point, a renewed focus on team roles can encourage student accountability and help by establishing: who will get the problem started, ask the teacher for help, manage the resources or see that results are recorded appropriately while reviewing your expectations of what it means to be in an effective team.
Here is a tip for reviewing team roles in a novel and creative way. Once roles are assigned, ask all the Task Managers to go to one corner of the room (all the Facilitators to another corner etc.). In each of the four corners students with the same role come up with a list of what is expected from their role. Then they either create a picture that reminds them of their role or a nickname for their role that helps them relate to and deepen their understanding of that role. When students return to their teams, provide a brief time for each one to share what their corner-role-group came up with.