Observations of Students Working Together

Some observations from my math classes:

I’ve noticed that, because my classes are so small (the school is located in rural Vermont), students feel like they want a more fluid grouping system. So, some days I’ve noticed there might be a group of three girls, a group of two boys, and someone who wants to work alone. In addition, in my 8th grade class, there are 9 students, who are working in the book in 3 different places. Some of this is because they completed an Algebra I course online last year and some because they took a semester of Algebra I online.

In some sense, I really like that students feel comfortable working with others in their class. Keep in mind that most of the students have been at the school since kindergarten. Also, this is a class in which every student either met or exceeded the standard on last year’s SBAC test (high stakes test). There is an air of wanting to work and really learn the math. So, given that, I tend to have a bit more leeway/flexibility in how the class works.

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