During the first week of school, Mrs. Nichols' class practiced working in groups. We did a fun activity that consisted of working in a group of four. There were three rounds of this activity and each round was 3 minutes long. Students were given a sheet of numbers listed from 1-100 but all mixed up on the page. They each had to go in numerical order and circle the next number in the sequence; 1, 2, 3, 4, ... and so on.
Round 1: After the three minutes, each group shared how far they got in the sequence; 21, 23, 17, 20 were their answers. We discussed why some groups didn't get as far as others and that they didn't know who circled what number. Students decided to each use a different color this time to keep track and make sure they got more in a circle with their heads together to work quicker, hear each other and be able to get farther this time in the sequence.
Round 2: Students worked better this time. I saw students helping each other, supporting each other, and staying focused. After the three minutes, students shared how far they got; 31, 35, 31, 37. We discussed what was better this time and students said they felt more comfortable working with their group, they felt supported and helped, and lastly, they noticed that the number they circled was continuously in the same quadrant! Now, they felt even more confident because they only had to look in a specific part of the paper to circle their number and could go faster.
Round 3: The smiles were so big my heart melted! Students were laughing and excited, they were working together and helping each other, and lastly, they got their highest score; 51, 54, 54, 53! We reflected on sticky notes and answered the question: What does a good math group sound and look like? This was the best discussion we had. We talked about not being in a linear seating arrangement because you can't help as much. We also talked about not arguing, working as a team, and making sure everyone felt heard!