Balancing modalities is, well, a balancing act. You want to walk into any classroom in your district and see, in addition to strong whole-class instruction and purposeful independent work, teachers engaging their students in collaborative learning. But that’s not always easy for teachers to manage.So we built math materials to help teachers do just that, and we call them Guided Collaborative Tasks.
Q: What are Guided Collaborative Tasks?
A: They’re self-guided, collaborative digital math tasks that are easy to administer. Students work in pairs to complete the tasks, giving teachers the opportunity to observe the groups, work with students individually, or work with them in small groups. These tasks free up teacher time, address the modality of classroom collaboration, and support students in building conceptual understanding and engaging in productive struggle.
Q: What’s the structure of a Guided Collaborative Task?
A: Each task is composed of five sections: Get Ready, Get Set, Get Going, We Worked On, and Try These.
- Get Ready: This section activates students’ prior knowledge with content from past grade levels or earlier in the school year.
- Get Set: Students see how they’ll collaborate and which digital tools they’ll use during this section.
- Get Going: Students work on the main task with the help of built in guidance.
- We Worked On: This section presents a clear final statement of learning.
- Try These: Students answer three formative questions based on the task. These can be used by the teacher as exit tickets.
Q: Which grade-levels are covered by these tasks?
A: Guided Collaborative Tasks cover K-8 math.
Q: Does each student in a pair need to use a device or can they be shared?
A: Pairs of students work together on one device.
Q: How and when can teachers check in with groups during the tasks?
A: Teachers can choose to interact with groups at any time and in a variety of ways. With this kind of flexibility, they can cater their check-ins to their students’ unique needs.
Some recommendations for teacher check-ins during Guided Collaborative tasks include:
- Before the groups get started with the Get Ready section, teachers can give students the opportunity to experiment with the tasks’ digital manipulatives. This allows students to get accustomed to using the manipulatives while teachers can observe and help.
- Teachers can interact with students after each section is completed and observe if groups or individual students are ready to move onto the next section.
- After the Try These questions, teachers can check in with students to see how they did.
Q: Do students receive feedback as they’re collaborating?
A: When students answer questions during the tasks, they can click the “How did I do?” button to receive instant feedback.