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Topic: group projects
Replies: 10   Last Post: Mar 30, 1995 4:58 PM

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Posts: 2
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: group projects
Posted: Mar 26, 1995 12:34 PM
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Rex Boggs writes:

>There are two issues - if the project is a group project, how do you stop
>someone from riding the coattails of a more ambitious student? And if work
>is done outside of class, how do you ensure that the work submitted by the
>student is their own work?
>We have tended to solve the first problem by not having group projects.

I teach five sixth grade classes. Even at that "tender" age, the students
are grubbing for grades most of the time.

One exception is during my "200 Point Challenge" in which I break all the
classes into "brain trusts". The groups have two weeks to solve 5 or 6
challenging word and logic problems.

One of their first jobs is to fill out a contract in which they list who in
their group will be responsible for the final write-up of each question, who
will make the cover for the project, etc. The correct answer is worth 5
points whereas the written explanation of their thinking and strategies is
worth 20 points. The last question is a very difficult logic problem
designated as the"honor problem" and it is worth 100 points.

On "Presentation Day," the projects are turned in and then I pull a number
out of one of two "hats" to determine who in the class will present their
group's solution. Ahead of time I have given each member of each group a
number. The first number determine which group will have to present the
solution to the rest of the class, the second number determines which group
member has to present the solution.

This process elliminates one student from doing all the work as each member
has to be able to explain the solution. A day or so before "Presentation
Day," the groups meet to discuss their individual solutions. At this time
they are able to challenge each other's answer if they feel the incorrect
solution was arrived at. I give extra bonus points for the presentation of a
job well done. They can also receive minus points if their number is pulled
and they can't explain their group's solution.

As a reward for all the hard work (and they all do work extreremy hard!!) I
pass out "free homework night" vouchers depending upon their final score.

Incidently, I plan the presentation Day on "Grandparent's Day" and the
grandparents are "blown away" with the presentations!! Good PR and it lets
then see how math has changed since they were sitting in the classroom!

I know this is lengthy, but i thought some of you would like to see what is
happening at the sixth grade level in respect to problem solving.

Peter Blanchard

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