Flying high off the success of our last project, 8th grade U.S. Government students are excited to start their new adventure.
They have been working with the same groups for the entire quarter and are ready to move forward with a dynamic new group. They enjoyed self-selecting their groups based on diverse qualities and skills for the first project. This time they can access more information to help them choose groups.
Students are instructed to re-evaluate their best qualities and skills. In the beginning of the year they picked five of their best qualities and skills as a group member and marked them on this sheet. We then used the sheet to pick our groups based solely on their assessment of themselves, with no identity attached.
After several weeks of intense work developing content knowledge and executive functioning skills students need to re-evaluate what they believe as their strongest traits. Their initial task is to explore how they’ve grown through the last project and indicate on the form 5 qualities and skills they believe are their strongest. These may be the same as the last time, but many chose differently because they have stretched themselves and grown as individuals and team members.
Once they have completed their new form they are shared with me and I develop a complete list. Each student name is erased and a number is assigned ensuring that students are chosen only by their answers.
Team leaders were thoughtfully selected based on their role in the last sprint. New groups are then self – selected in the same manner as the previous sprint. Anonymously and based on what each person will bring to the group.
The room was thick with anticipation as the team leaders filed back in and new groups were about to be assigned. Each team leader reads a list of numbers completely blind to who they have just chosen. Squeals of delight and high fives soon followed.
The system of self selecting team developed by Mr. Wijnands for EduScrum is the perfect way to create groups with diverse strengths. Beginning with asking students to identify the qualities that they feel best about they get to enter a group situation feeling confident and successful. Making the selection process anonymous helps kids that are usually not selected for past transgressions get an equal opportunity for a solid group. It allows each group to launch a new project fresh and feeling confident knowing that their best skills were selected to compliment the group.
In new groups the anticipation is building. The new project is waiting for them to launch into another sprint through history.
We have used our tools of reflection to rebuild new groups for our new adventure!