Below you will find resources and techniques we use in our classroom daily to create collaborative group structure. Most of the techniques we describe come from a teaching methodology developed by Stanford Ed Professors called Complex Instruction and the training we received from Jo Boaler. To learn more about Complex Instruction watch the video below.
Prior to this training and implementation of these techniques, group work in our classroom was not equal. We observed that not all students' ideas were valued, and that some students (mostly the higher achieving ones) dominated and took over. That's not what we had envisioned for our group work! We wanted to create an environment in which all students' ideas were heard and valued. Where students engaged in mathematical discussions and debates (CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3). And we wanted students to learn the important character building traits of collaborating with others (empathy, open mindedness and responsibility to others).