# Mrs. Walker focused on one group work skill per week until her fifth-graders developed an effective repertoire

## Question:

Mrs. Walker focused on one group work skill per week until her fifth-graders developed an effective repertoire by the end of the first 6 weeks of the school year. During the first week, she emphasized how to participate during group work; the second week, she focused on remaining on task. Subsequent weeks were devoted to cooperating, encouraging, explaining, and active listening. Mrs. Walker introduced each skill in a whole-class discussion, soliciting examples, suggestions, and a rationale from her students. During the first week, she displayed a five-point rating scale for "participating" and indicated what she would be looking for as students worked in groups. At the end of several group activities that week, she engaged students in a discussion about the skill, asked them to review their performance, and shared her assessment of student participation with the individual groups. In each subsequent week, Mrs. Walker added a new scale, so that groups received feedback about their progress in acquiring the skills.

Pause and Consider

What group work skills did Mrs. Walker choose to feature and in what order? What other group work skills might she want to practice with her class across the next 6 weeks?

Why might Mrs. Walker have chosen the sequence she did for these group work skill lessons?

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