Series Building Towards NGSS Classrooms: Working as a Team

Working as a Team

Lesson Objective: Facilitate collaboration during science investigations
Grades K-5 / Science / Collaboration


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Cope facilitate collaboration between students?
  2. What other strategies might you use to help students work together productively?
  3. How does working in groups on an investigation helps students build their understanding of scientific concepts and skills?


  • Private message to No Name

1. Ms Cope put all the children in Group.. A Child was given a particular job to do such as pass out paper.                                                                          2.To implement the activity a Child that would be a good leader should be put into  each group.

3. Putting children into group may help to lean and understand the material better.

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  • Private message to LaVonne Edwards

Ms.Cope,assigned each child a job that they could do without a struggle.She also made sure students would be able to get along in there group.

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  • Private message to LaShawn Savage

Ms.Cope gave each child a responsibility in the group setting. This helped the child understand that they matter to the group and that in order to get a result for project everyone must make sure that they must complete what they had to do in the assignment. 

In our classroom everyone knows what their responsibility is for the week. They each have a job to do. I also pair my students together. If I have some students that can not complete a task I pair them with a student that can complete the task. That student works with clsssnate to help them complete the task at hand.

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  • Private message to Flora Spruill

1. Ms. Cope made sure that each child in the group had a job and the job were base on the skill level of each individual  as well as placing each individual in group base on each child personality 

2. The strategy I would use to help students to work together by asking the students to share their own personal goal for being a good team member.  For example they might say I want to work on listening and understanding other people ideas better 

3. Participating in group work, the children learn from and with one another. The children will learn to clarify and consolidate their thoughts and to generate ideas by working within the  groups 

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  • Private message to Avery Baird

Being a positive group member and being able to work in groups is a great thing for students to understand at an early age. I think it was a really great way to give each student responsibility and hold them accountable for the group's performance. The teacher was very thorough in deciding who was in each group, which can help them to understand their skill levels.

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  • Working as a Team Transcript

    Becky Cope: Yep. There we go buddy. What are we trying to control here?

    Speaker 2: The

    Working as a Team Transcript

    Becky Cope: Yep. There we go buddy. What are we trying to control here?

    Speaker 2: The erosion.

    Becky Cope: The erosion, right. We're trying to control the -
    My name is Becky Cope I teach second grade at Burlington Elementary School. We're part of the Boom county school district in Northern Kentucky.
    So I need the material collectors to come up front again.
    As a second grade teacher I have a team of five other teachers that I work with every day so I have to know how to work in a team. And I think as students go through elementary school, middle school and high school they do a lot of teamwork.
    Girls, give me five, four, three -
    With the NGSS it lends itself to students working in a group together understanding the, you know, concepts and the practices. And so as they learn those as second graders third graders and what not, when they're soft-mores and juniors in high school they understand the role of being a positive group member.
    Okay, so we've kind of talked about what erosion is, but today we're going to work a little bit with our hands. So when you came in today, you each got a sticker, okay. Those are your jobs for today for our investigations.
    So when trying to create a good, collaborative role in the classroom I definitely think that at first the teachers have to assign to the students and let a teacher choice, but eventually move toward that of a student choice where they have the understanding of, "hey, you know what, I'm better at being a recorder," or,"I'm better at, you know, maybe being the materials collector."
    And our big question right now for investigation number one is, does wind or water cause more erosion? Okay, so right now I'm going to have the material collector come up to the tables for me -
    One of the first ways that I made sure each child was engaged was that I made sure that each had a job to do within the investigation.
    If you're the recorder, you're going to need the pencil and the piece of paper out of your bag. Here are the steps to our investigation. So the recorder, I want you to read your directions to your group. So what -
    The groups are differentiated kind of based on the learner's ability so I wanted to make sure every group had the student who I knew that could read all the directions, the student that I knew could write down the directions and keep up with the directions that were going on.

    Children: Three. It's three

    Becky Cope: The groups were also formed, obviously based on personality. I knew certain students couldn't work with other students so I did carefully make sure that the students were placed where I knew it would be a good co-operative learning group. I also think that teachers have to be willing to change those groups, the groups can't remain the same every time and all the time. They has to be change within the groups for students to know what different roles are and also to work with other students.
    I've noticed that some groups aren't following the steps. You have to measure yours first, remember? Don't forget the measurement.
    So sometimes it is difficult to get students, especially second graders to work together in a group. I noticed today and in some other groups there were students who were arguing becauase the student wouldn't give them the ruler, even though they weren't the measurer, they felt like they should have the ruler at that time. So it's just something that you have to continually change and adjust to in order to get the students to understand the role of the collaborative team.

    Children: If you [?] the side of them. [scream]

    Becky Cope: I think one of the most important things is to know students personalities and, you know, which students are going to get along with others are going to be dominant, which ones are going to, you know, kind fo sit back and listen. As the school year goes on the students will be doing investigations in different areas, even in different content areas and so I always like for the students to take on different roles you know. And even though the recorder might not have the best handwriting, they still need that opportunity to be the recorder and understand how important it is to take that data and that information.

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School Details

Burlington Elementary School
5946 North Orient Street
Burlington KY 41005
Population: 815

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Becki Cope


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