Here are the Pre-Calculus and Calculus responses to the following prompt: We switched from a default group size of 3 to a group size of 2. Which did you prefer? Did we switch groups too often? Not enough? Goldilocks amount?

Takeaways:

A lot more noise here. I’d say that a majority of those with a preference would prefer switching groups every two weeks (as opposed to every week as we did for a bit). And a slight majority prefer group size of two. Not a big win one way or another though. I think starting off in a group size of three and then changing to two after they’ve gotten to know each other might be the way to go.

Lastly, this comment is something that I need to be on top of “There are entire units that I have difficulty understanding because I was paired with someone who was discriminatorial towards me or who refused to work with me. I know we need to have the skill to work with people we aren’t close with, and I’m not arguing with that, but I think there also need to be some measures in place to avoid uncomfortable situations.”

I hadn’t seen any of this happening at all. I had no idea students were refusing to work with others, actively or not. I need to work on this to keep this place a comfortable place for learning.

June 7, 2016

Comments

Dan, have you read Randy Pausch’s book, The Last Lecture?

Section 24: A Recovering Jerk, page 112, has some great remarks that you might be interested in as you try to get a handle on how to help students work better together. It’s a section that I wish my childrens’ teachers had read.

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