Unit 3 - Group work

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This unit introduces group work, how to agree on ground rules, and what sort of resources support group work (such as “talking points” and digital resources). In detail, the unit covers

  • exploratory talk,
  • same task group work,
  • different tasks group work,
  • group composition and formation,
  • ground rules for group work,
  • carousel of activities for group work,
  • mixed pace group work and differentiation, and
  • talking points activity for promoting group interaction.



3.1 - Group work: Same task and different tasks group work
In this session you will learn about:
  • group work in interactive teaching as a way of encouraging participation and collaborative learning
  • different types of talk in groups, including exploratory talk
  • genuine group work (not just sitting in a groups)
  • how and when to use same task group work or different tasks group work
  • group composition and randomising roles to encourage participation
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • watch a slideshow and draw out new knowledge of the importance of group work
  • devise same task/different tasks questions for use during group work
  • create groups by numbering and number group members for the purpose of randomising who reports back
The ICT components you will focus on are

You will plan a lesson for classroom use of

  • Geogebra,
  • Slideshows,
  • (optional) concept mapping software.

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • You will do a lesson with your students that involves Geogebra, slideshows, or (optionally) concept mapping software.
3.2 - When to use group work and how to manage it
In this session you will learn about:
  • when and why to use group work in the classroom
  • three different aspects of managing group work:
    • group composition and formation
    • ground rules during group work
    • group size and seating arrangement
  • "carousel" group work (sometimes called a circus of activities) where different groups do the same activities but in a different order
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • participate in a magic microphone reasoning activity, suggesting a specific example of when group work could be used in the classroom with reasons
  • work as part of a small group on one aspect of managing group work and prepare and deliver a presentation on it to the whole group
  • actively listen to other groups presentations on two other aspects of managing group work
  • watch a video and discuss 'carousel' group work, thinking particularly about its use in a limited resource environment
The ICT components you will focus on are

Classroom use of

  • Geogebra,
  • slideshows,
  • (optional) concept mapping software.

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • You will do a lesson with your students that involves Geogebra, slideshows, or (optionally) concept mapping software.
3.3 - Mixed pace group work with and without ICT
In this session you will learn about:
  • pace grouping and its effect on students
  • strategies to discourage copying during mixed pace group work
  • differentiation by
    • task
    • support
    • outcome

as ways of allowing students to access work at their level and ensuring that all students produce results and progress in their learning

To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • listen to teachers talking about their experiences of using pace groups and discuss
  • discuss strategies to discourage copying by students during mixed pace group work
  • read some background text on differentiation and consider if its use might enable teachers to set high expectations of all students
  • plan to teach a mixed pace group work activity with ICT
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • Planning of another lesson with ICT (Geogebra / Slideshow / Concept mapping)

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will ...
3.4 - Talking points and effective group work
In this session you will learn about:
  • using talking points to support productive, open-ended discussion
  • effective group work practices including team-building
  • reflective practices and being critical to get the most from activities
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • discuss group work using talking points
  • devise some talking points for a classroom activity
  • plan the activity to included team building
  • do the activity and prepare to feedback reflections next session
  • analyse another teacher's reflective practice and look at ways of improving how we reflect
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • Planning of another lesson with ICT (Geogebra / slideshow / concept mapping / spreadsheets), for open-ended tasks

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will ...
3.5 - Review of group work
In this session you will learn about:
  • ways of consolidating learning about group work
  • strategies for dealing with group work issues i.e making sure that all students participate, how best to arrange groups to make good use of resources etc
  • reflecting in a way that makes learning explicit by giving specific examples of where learning has taken place (or not)
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • complete a questionnaire on group work practices/strategies and plan an agenda to use these in the classroom
  • take part in a brainstorm to come up with strategies for dealing with group work issues
  • listen to a Zambian teacher's portfolio reflection and work on making portfolio reflections more meaningful
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • Introduction of EtherPad in the classroom

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will ...
3.6 - Designing interactive lesson plans
In this session you will learn about:
  • using lesson templates as a tool when planning interactive lessons
  • designing interactive lesson plans to include a range of interactive techniques
  • planning to use effective questions by referring to Bloom's Taxonomy
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • watch a sequence of videos and map them on to an interactive lesson plan
  • plan an interactive lesson using a lesson template
  • complete a range of activities to become familiar with Bloom's hierarchy of question types
The ICT components you will focus on are

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will ...