Let’s do what works, not what’s easy

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This week, I posted a new article to my blog at NeverBore.org about why critics denounce interactive teaching — and why they are wrong.

I’ll be posting there once a month on topics related to my book, Beat Boredom, my curriculum products, and the topic of interactive teaching.

I’ll continue to use this MarthaRush.org blog for my thoughts on a wide range of educational topics, including homework, proficiency-based grading, cold-calling (coming next week!), and the day-to-day life of a classroom teacher. I’d love it if you’d check out both sites!

In other news, this week I put the finishing touches on No Easy Answers, a personal finance curriculum featuring 10 highly engaging case studies for high school students. I’ll be presenting it at the CEE National Conference in Atlanta in two weeks. Hope to see you there! More information about purchasing the lessons coming soon.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush #beatboredom

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Have you done your homework on homework?

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Take this quick True/False quiz:

  1. T/F Homework in high school should be limited to 10 minutes per night, per class.
  2. T/F Most high school students do about two hours of homework per night.
  3. T/F Research has found no correlation between homework and achievement.
  4. T/F Homework is always beneficial to students.
  5. T/F Homework is never beneficial to students.
  6. T/F Interactive online homework is more effective than paper-and-pencil homework.

. . . . .

This will be easy to grade. These statements are all false. But I’ve heard every one of them asserted by some “expert” with an agenda.

I’ve only spent a few hours this week diving into the murky world of homework research — mostly peer-reviewed studies by educational psychologists and economists — but I can report a few findings.

First of all, the “10-minute rule” is often misapplied or misinterpreted. It’s 10 minutes x the student’s grade level = total nightly homework, and even that is a rough estimate.

Harris Cooper, a neuroscientist at Duke who has spent a lot more time studying homework than you or me, explains in this New York Times column that diminishing returns (i.e. wasted time) sets in after about 2.5 hours/night for high school kids.

That’s a lot more homework than most students do.

In fact, one study (Kalenkoski and Pabilonia, 2017) reports that on average, American high school students do 6.4 hours of homework per week, including time when they are “multi-tasking” (i.e. distracted). Girls do more than boys, by the way.

What about the correlation between homework and achievement? Is there one? 

Cooper’s 2006 meta-analysis of hundreds of research studies says this: “With only rare exceptions, the relationship between the amount of homework students do and their achievement outcomes was found to be positive and statistically significant.”

These studies weren’t perfect — we know that. The ones that attempted to find (and found) causation had all sorts of flaws. And it’s likely that already-motivated students both do homework and achieve at higher levels.

But here’s what we do know: Students who do more homework tend to perform better on learning tasks, and students who perform better on learning tasks tend to do more homework. My intuition (and 25 years of experience) says that more time working on something probably contributes to that better understanding.

These studies also raise important questions, like:

  • If homework is beneficial, what kind of homework is most beneficial?
  • Do some kinds of homework have negative effects?
  • Is interactive online homework better?

Clearly, not all homework is created equal. Homework that requires rote application of basic tasks is boring, and it can turn students off to school more than it helps reinforce concepts. It’s also easy to mindlessly copy. This is why students and parents are always bashing homework.

Overly difficult homework (especially if it’s graded) is similarly ineffective and can diminish student motivation. Search “homework” on Twitter, and you’ll find hundreds of frustrated students venting their anger about today’s assignments.

But homework that prepares students for class in a non-threatening way (like a video or accessible reading) and homework that challenges students to think creatively about what they are learning are both effective at building student understanding. This is important stuff.

One study (Lipowsky et al, 2004) found that students show greater achievement gains than their peers in other classes when the teacher assigns cognitively demanding homework — for example, “homework tasks that make us think about new things.”

What does that look like?

Last week, my econ students had an online discussion about whether “scarcity” is real or just a convenient lie to keep capitalism in place. My psych students watched a video that explained stages in classical conditioning to help them prepare for their own at-home conditioning experiments.

These were not the only pieces of homework I assigned, but they are examples of the kind of “thinking” homework that seems to work best and keep students engaged.

By the way, the research into online homework — like quizzes or problems with the instant feedback so many experts say homework needs — found little to no gain over traditional types of homework.

Homework seems to support learning even if students have to wait for the feedback, if only because it prompts kids to spend a little more time thinking about what they’re learning, rather than buried in social media or video games.

My take-away: Don’t dump homework just because some self-proclaimed expert tells you to, but don’t cling to rote assignments or torment students with work that is too difficult to do without scaffolding.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush #beatboredom

‘I don’t know this word’… Why student knowledge and context matter

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My friend Mary, a bookseller in Chicago, told me I need to read Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover.

Westover was was raised by American survivalists, and her story explains how she broke with her family’s extremist ideology and left home to seek her education, culminating in a Ph.D. from Cambridge.

The part that stuck with Mary was a scene where Westover raised her hand in class at BYU to ask a question about the course reading.

“I don’t know this word… what does it mean?”

The lecture hall went silent.

The professor responded: “Thanks for that.”

Other students stared at her like she was a freak, and one warned her not to joke about such a sensitive subject.

The word? Holocaust.

This is a chilling story about how deeply isolated some segments of American society are.

It’s also a strong reminder that we as teachers never truly know what any of our students know before they enter our classrooms — and we need to continually build their context and background knowledge if we want them to flourish and not be ashamed.

Knowledge Matters

Shortly after hearing this story, I read a preview copy of Dave Stuart Jr.’s new book, These 6 Things (Corwin 2018). Dave’s book focuses on how key beliefs, literacy skills and knowledge are critical to students’ and teachers’ long-term flourishing.

His goal is to help teachers learn to focus on what matters most, so we and our students can be successful without working ourselves to death.

The book is both inspiring and practical — and he makes a compelling point about exactly the issues raised in Educated.

In Ch. 3, Dave tackles the myth that reading is a “transferable skill”, and that base knowledge is irrelevant in the age of Google. He kicks off the chapter with pointed examples of bright individuals struggling to read passages on topics they know nothing about.

“So what gives in these three scenarios? Knowledge.

In short, knowledge must be a part of our bull’s eye because it is integral to high levels of thinking, reading, writing, speaking and listening. … It’s pretty cool that I can ask my smartphone to define a new word or show me the news, but it’s the data that I’ve accumulated in my head over several decades of my life that makes any new information interesting and more likely to stick.”

An excellent point.

Dave goes on to explore how we, as teachers, should discern what’s critical for our students to know — and what’s merely trivia — as well as how to get kids hooked on learning seemingly mundane facts.

Argument is Essential

If you’ve read my book, Beat Boredom: Engaging Tuned-Out Teenagers, you already know I’m a big promoter of storytelling and debate/discussion in the high school classroom.

Dave’s book explores these topics in depth as well. In Ch. 4, he explains why argument — civil debate — is an essential skill for all of our students.

“The ability to argue makes one able to read critically, to write logically and compellingly, to listen at a level beyond compliance, and to carry on complex conversations aimed at solving problems or settling disputes.”

Argument is, in fact, the heart of critical thinking — and it can’t be learned by merely talking about it.

Tara Westover’s book and Dave Stuart Jr.’s book kind of sum up my summer reading.

One book to fill me with stories, ideas, and questions from the larger world — stories I hope will enhance my teaching and make my classes more engaging to students.

One book to help me reflect directly on my teaching practices — and think about ways to sharpen my focus and avoid wasting time.

Now I just need to put it all together into a solid lesson plan.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush #beatboredom

Grit offers good – but not great – insights

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I just finished reading Grit, and I have to say I’m disappointed.

I know Angela Duckworth’s argument that passion and perseverance can overcome obstacles and lead to success has met with mixed reviews — especially from those who believe the focus on grit discounts the impact of poverty — and I have to say I side with the critics.

First of all, I was surprised by how little she addressed the problems faced by disadvantaged youth. “Grit” has been championed by so many people in education the past two years that I expected the book was going to be all about that.

Instead, it was mostly about talking to champions — like world-class spellers and swimmers — and figuring out their strategies for success. Unfortunately, that means it suffered from a lot of hindsight bias. I kept wondering as I read: How many people worked just as hard with just as much passion as these champions but didn’t achieve success?

Duckworth does make some good points, though, so I’ll share a few of my a-ha moments.

  • She tells a good story about a chronically tardy teenager who got a job at American Eagle. The boss told her, “Oh by the way, the first time you’re late, you’re fired.” The girl’s behavior changed overnight. As Duckworth observed (albeit anecdotally): “Lectures don’t have half the effect of consequences.” As a teacher in a school with very few consequences for behavior, I wonder how great a disservice we are doing.
  • She weighs in on the debate over telling kids to “follow their passion” v. telling kids to “be practical” and focus on getting a decent job. The larger issue, she argues, is that most kids don’t even have a passion to follow. So true. We need to help our students develop a sense of purpose — to counter their growing feelings of anxiety and despair and to give them a reason for wanting to learn.
  • She explains how often we see the final performance — a TED Talk, an Olympic race, an A on a test — and do not see the hours upon hours of effort that went into it. This is especially problematic for teenagers, who assume successful peers are “naturals” and they are just failures. We need to peel back the curtain… somehow.
  • She writes about one experiment conducted with seventh-graders, where half received essays back with Post-it notes saying, “I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know you can reach them,” while others received a placebo note: “I’m giving you these comments so that you’ll have feedback on your paper.” Twice as many students (80% compared to 40%) with the high expectations note revised their essays. A good reminder of the simple strategies we can use to build our students’ motivation and self-confidence.

Grit is a fine response to our over-emphasis on IQ — especially with a president who taunts people by alleging they have low IQ scores — but it didn’t break much new ground for me. Mindset (Dweck) is a more thorough and compelling analysis of many of the same issues.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush #beatboredom

 

Why a brand-new master schedule isn’t the solution

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Note to readers: I try to post every week, but a summer full of PD workshops has turned out to be busier than the school year! I hope you’re having a restful July. 

In the past few weeks leading AP summer institutes for Macro/Micro teachers, I’ve had a lot of discussions about the “school day.” Meaning: How long is your class period? How often does class meet each week? How long is your quarter/trimester/semester?

Nearly every one of the 30+ teachers I have met is on a different schedule.

Some schools have an eight-period day, with 42-minute periods.

Others (like me) have a six-period day, with 57- minute periods.

Others have seven 48-minute periods. Or block scheduling, with some 45-minute periods and other 85-minute periods. Or a modified block — I don’t even know what that means.

We have quarters, trimesters, semesters. I honestly think no two districts in the U.S. run on the same schedule. Why? What are we gaining with all of this local control and experimentation?

I can tell you what we’re losing — the ability to actually share lesson plans with teachers in other districts. The opportunity to develop best practices and collaborate, across districts, on implementation. I might have a fabulous, coherent, well-organized lesson, but no one else can pick it up and use it because they don’t have 57-minute periods.

I was curious whether all this experimenting has led to actual quantifiable gains, so I spent some time this week researching to find out if anyone knows what schedule is best for kids’ learning or mental health. The answer, sadly, is no.

Despite all of the time and money we’ve put into up-ending student schedules, it’s all moving chairs on the Titanic.

A number of doctoral candidates have actually done intensive research on this, believe it or not. Jay Roland Dostal, who got his Ed.D. from the University of Nebraska, wrote the best (most comprehensive) thesis I found.

His topic was “alternative scheduling and its effect on science achievement.” He compared disciplinary reports and science achievement at high schools with seven-period days and four-period block schedules — with extensive pre-testing, post-testing and statistical analysis.

His findings (in short): “The reality is, that changing the school scheduling vehicle in and of itself doesn’t have a direct impact on student achievement according to the results of this study.”

Well that’s disappointing.

In the long run, Dostal concludes, the quality of instruction matters more than than the format of the school day. Frustrating, isn’t it? We should be putting our time and money into improving instructional strategies, but instead many districts keep changing schedules, eager to jump on the next bandwagon.

My high school, for the record, hasn’t changed the basic makeup of our six-period day in the 21 years I’ve taught there. I guess they had the right idea all along.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush

 

Our students want to do work — when it’s work that matters

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I love this story from last week’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune about North High students presenting research on social issues at a recent University of Minnesota symposium.

One student presented his research on police brutality. Another her work on disparate maternal mortality rates for black women. Other topics included domestic abuse, poverty and immigration.

The students surveyed their peers, researched the problems, and proposed their own solutions.

The article points out: This was “a rare opportunity for the students — mostly freshmen — to make their work for an audience rather than just for a grade.”

This is incredibly important and far too rare.

One of the best ways we can hook students — especially adolescents who feel disenfranchised — is to give them the chance to do authentic work, tackling real-world problems they care about. Then let them share their work with the world.

In research for my book, Beat Boredom, I found many incredible examples of this kind of work.

Students conducting their own inquiries into the quality of their local soil and water supplies.

Students (even in youth detention facilities) learning farm-to-table food preparation.

Students creating documentary films, collecting community history through interviews, founding their own service-learning ventures, developing underwater robots that can remove oil from a shipwreck.

In every case, the students were deeply motivated by the chance to do “authentic” work. And yet, these learning experiences still merit newspaper headlines because they are too few and far between.

If you’re not convinced this kind of work is valuable, consider the Academy of Information Technology and Robotics in Florida. The school recruited low-performing students and taught them all of their subject matter through six-week team challenges.

In one challenge based on the television series CSI, students learned about DNA, as well as learning trigonometry to help with blood spatter analysis, physics to help with bullet trajectories, and the history of the FBI.

At the end of every unit, students presented their findings to community members who work in related fields. By the end of freshman year, these students were surpassing their peers in other county schools; 97 percent scored in the midrange or above on the ninth-grade biology exam.

So don’t just read the North High story and smile and think of this teacher in isolation. Think about what we can do every day in our classrooms to make student learning both relevant and real. Think about how we can design science experiments, writing assignments and research projects that get our students out of the classroom and into their communities.

If we want our students to care about learning, we need to give them important problems to tackle. Not some day – but now.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush

 

Let’s stop teaching like it’s 1899

vintageclassroomHave you seen the picture? You know, the sepia-toned one with all of the kids sitting in desks in straight rows, representing American public schools 100 years ago?

Or the newer version, the stock photo that got many of us riled up at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos?

Because no, of course we don’t teach like that any more.

At the ASCD Empower conference last weekend, I saw that picture so many times, in so many different versions and venues, it became a cliche. Every speaker made the same point: We still teach like this, and it’s a problem.

We need to stop teaching like it’s 1899.

If you know me, you know these presenters were preaching to the choir.

But here’s a few fun facts I picked up from my fellow active-learning evangelists.

From Wendy Ostroff, a developmental psychologist and researcher who trains teachers in California:

  • Students lose their curiosity as they progress through school — because we don’t encourage inquiry. Curiosity is one of the main predictors of success in life, college and career. “Extra curious people learn more and perform better.”
  • If we want curious students, she said, “Teachers and administrators also have to be curious and engaged. … Are teachers teacher-scholars? Experimenting? Trying new things? We need to be playful learners.”
  • And also: “One of the #1 stressors for our students is boredom. Boredom is very stressful.”

From Alexis Wiggins, author of The Best Class You Never Taught:

  • Nobel prize winner and Stanford Prof. Carl Wieman (the 2004 U.S. professor of the year) experimented on his own classes and found that only 10% of his students could answer questions taught just 20 minutes prior in a lecture. What people learn from lecture — “it’s just really small.”
  • More and more institutions, now including Dartmouth’s Geisel Medical School, are banishing lecture completely in favor of inquiry, discussion, and other forms of active learning.

From Jon Bergmann, one of the founders of Flipped Learning:

  • “[Robert] Marzano studied 2 million classrooms — that’s a pretty big sample size — to see what instructional strategies are being used. 58% lecture. This was K-12 data. 36% practicing problems. Only 6% were more cognitively complex tasks.” High school was worse than lower grades, he added, and social studies was worst of all.
  • “The single biggest change that has to happen is a shift from passive to active learning.”

Bergmann went one step further and asked, in reference to our continued reliance on lecture: “Why are we being casual about what any other profession might label malpractice?”

Harsh words, yes. But if we know what works — and active learning beats lecture hands down — then we need to do more of it. I couldn’t agree more.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush

 

Girls need grit, too

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I’ve noticed a small but disturbing trend in my AP Macroeconomics classes: Girls are more likely to give up.

Although very few students drop my class — only a handful in the past five years — so far it’s only been girls. When I hear from their parents, I often hear things like:

She’s so frustrated that she is crying inconsolably.

I just can’t see her this upset and think it is good for her.

It’s not that girls are performing worse than boys or finding the material more challenging. In fact, boys with much lower grades are soldiering on.

So what is happening? Why does temporary “failure” seem more likely to crush girls’ self-confidence? Are we not teaching our girls resilience?

I know this is not just my problem. Girls are woefully underrepresented nationally in the fields of economics and finance. One expert, who was doing research on this issue for the Federal Reserve, told me women are less likely to major in econ or finance than even STEM fields.

We females are also less likely to be entrepreneurs than our male counterparts.

I don’t believe this is an innate gender difference.

Here’s what I do believe: I think our girls learn to be really good at school. They outperform boys by most measures in elementary and middle school, and they are more likely to be identified as gifted. They follow rules, do their homework, write neatly, speak politely and generally master the system before they hit high school.

And we encourage this. We praise them for their eager compliance, their willingness to be perfect students, their report cards filled with 1s and As.

I remember — I was one of those girls. I loved getting things right. I loved seeing positive comments on my papers and bringing home good report cards. I loved making my parents proud — something that seemed of no consequence whatsoever to my brilliant but less diligent older brother.

All of this compliance leads too many girls toward perfectionism and what Carol Dweck calls a “fixed mindset”. Our girls pride themselves on doing everything right, and they become less willing to take risks. They become obsessed with protecting their perfect GPAs. They aren’t as confident in their ability to wing it and figure things out later.

When they do meet a challenge (and it happens to all of us eventually), it doesn’t just frustrate them — it undermines their entire sense of self.

This isn’t just my hunch. Research by Babson University found that the reason we see fewer female entrepreneurs is not because women are less likely to launch businesses. They are equally likely to do so… the first time.

But they’re a lot less likely to try again if their first attempt fails. And guess what? Most first attempts at entrepreneurship fail. So too many women just give up and walk away, while the men (who are no more talented) are trying again and again until they succeed.

If we want our girls to break the glass ceiling and access many of these careers (which, by the way, are very lucrative), we need to think about how we’re communicating expectations around success and failure to them.

Are we focusing on grades — or on learning?

Are we encouraging perfectionism — or risk-taking?

Are we letting them give up — or expecting them to bounce back?

We need to make sure our girls know that it’s OK to struggle, that straight A’s aren’t really what life is about, and that we expect them to persevere, the same way we expect their brothers to. 

We can’t let their energetic focus on being “good at school” block them from learning strategies to be successful for the rest of their lives.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush

For students, doing beats listening

people-woman-coffee-meeting.jpgA few weeks ago, I wrote about launching my experiment with “no lecture” AP Macroeconomics this spring.

I should note — I didn’t start this experiment because my students were performing poorly. 61 of my 65 students passed the AP test last year, and nearly all of them were freshmen.

It was a pretty successful class just the way it was.

But it’s also always been an uphill battle, because students seemed to forget what they’d learned from one day to the next, they rarely did any homework, and we spent as much time re-teaching and reviewing every day as we did on new material.

Also, a rather large percentage of students were retaking every unit test, and that was frustrating.

I’d read enough about flipped classrooms, whiteboarding and inquiry learning to think that a new approach was worth trying. And so far, results are very positive.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed in the first four weeks:

 

  • More students are reading the textbook than ever before. In the past, my students took it for granted that I would tell them everything they needed to know. Now they know that’s not the case, and they actually read.
  • Formative quiz scores are through the roof. Last year, students averaged 60-70% on daily quizzes; this year it’s more like 85-90%. They actually remember what we did the previous day, now that they’re solving problems rather than passively listening.
  • Twelve students earned 92% or above on the first test, compared to five last year.
  • The lowest score on the first test was 54%; last year four students scored lower than that.

 

An added bonus: I feel less stressed. The planning part is stressful — mostly because I have to go through every lesson and rethink how to construct it. Yuck. That means 1-2 hours of work per hour of class, for a class I had pretty well planned out before.

But during class time, there’s a lot less stress. The students know what they need to do — and they are doing, rather than listening — so there’s a lot less off-task behavior. Fewer phones out, fewer side conversations, and a lot more outward signs of student engagement.

Also, more time for me to help struggling students one-on-one, while they’re in class.

When I do stop and interject a 5-10 minute mini-lecture — for example, explaining Okun’s Law and the connection between potential GDP and the Natural Rate of Unemployment this week — the students actually pay attention. They’re not burned out on listening to me — so I’m no longer Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I won’t prematurely call this a success. We’ve still got three more units and an AP test to get through. But right now, it’s looking like a change for the better.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush

Teamwork: Annoying AND essential

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Should high school students work in teams — or solo?

When I was a student, we did about 90 percent of our work alone. With the exception of lab work in science and the occasional English group project, we were expected to learn independently, so we would be prepared for individual success later.

Back then, working together — even asking a classmate for help — always carried the taint of cheating.

After all, you don’t get into college or get a job as a team. The important thing was individual achievement.

But something changed on the way to the 21st Century. Even by the time I entered the workforce in 1989, management everywhere was talking about teams, teams, teams.

Suddenly, employees had to not only have the requisite content knowledge for their job — but also know how to communicate, collaborate, argue effectively, involve everyone, incorporate diverse perspectives and deal with slackers. It wasn’t easy to adjust.

Most adults (including me) have spent a lot of time since high school complaining about teamwork. It seems no one ever carries their share of the load; no one recognizes our expertise; and we’re all tired of hearing the know-it-all’s nit-picky perspective on every single issue.

But here’s the thing. Experts (like the leaders at Google) have researched this issue to death, and they have found that effective teams are far more productive than individual stars. And the best teams often don’t contain any stars.

Being valedictorian doesn’t really count for much in most workplaces today.

So what does that mean for us? Does this whole “team” thing really translate to school? And if so, how?

For years, I’ve heard so much frustration from parents and students about group work — you know, the kind that really becomes solo work with a bunch of free riders.

Is it really fair for a group to drag a bright student down? Won’t it be different in the workplace, when everyone is at least competent?

Last week, at the Minnesota Council on Economic Education’s trade show for young entrepreneurs, several 20something entrepreneurs tackled this question. Surprisingly, to many students in the audience, these individual stars championed group work.

Erik Brust, founder of JonnyPops, and Meghan Sharkus, founder of ExpressionMed, agreed that working on group projects in high school is really frustrating. But guess what? So is working with teams in the real world. You never escape the free rider problem, and your team members will always let you down.

And yet, teamwork works. It’s necessary. So students, you might as well learn how now.

For teachers, though, this is not as easy as just putting kids in groups. Not any old team works. Teachers need to figure out how to build effective student teams, in ways that reduce that tension between group effort and individual understanding.

I think the answer lies in carefully creating our student teams, teaching them about effective communication and collaboration, and monitoring their performance.

When I assigned my AP Macro students to teams this year — teams we use every single day for discussing and working on problems — I started with a teamwork survey to better understand each student’s individual work habits and expectations.

I wasn’t so concerned about their academic skills; I’ve read studies that promote heterogeneous grouping and ones that promote homogeneous grouping. Instead, I wanted to know things like: Are you a leader or a slacker? Do you do your part? Do you try to take over? And how often do you get distracted?

So far, the resulting groups have been functioning pretty well. I’ve only noticed one group with bad dynamics (one student expecting the others to do the work), and I think I persuaded that student to get with the program. (We’ll see.)

Next week, we’ll also see how the no lecture + teamwork strategy has prepared them for the first test. 

If you’re interested in seeing the teamwork survey, email me at Martha.Rush@NeverBore.org.

Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit NeverBore.org or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. Listen to Martha’s interview with Vicki Davis on the CoolCatTeacher podcast. @MarthaSRush