My new, explicit, Mathematical Collaboration Expectations

So I was flipping through my feeds as a way of procrastinating finishing my calculus syllabus when I came across this post from cheesemonkeysf, where she shares a rubric for group work for her middle school math students.

For years I’ve been telling myself that I needed to make my expectations for groupwork more explicit. I’ve told them what not to do: groupwork is not four people working silently side by side, it’s not dividing up the problems and sharing answers, it’s not one person doing everything and not taking input from their teammates. But that’s not the same as saying what it actually is.

But that sort of thing takes a lot of time to develop well, and being pulled in a hundred different directions, I just never took the time to sit down and do it. But when Cheesemonkey gave me such a great starting point, all it took was a little editing to get this:

Mathematical Collaboration Expectations

Active Inclusion

You helped the group to develop its shared mathematical thinking by:

  • allowing others adequate time to express their own thinking
  • demonstrating patience when other group members have difficulty putting their ideas into words
  • making sure that everyone understands why or how a piece of shared thinking or reasoning is so

Individual Participation

You made your own personal contributions to developing the group’s shared mathematical thinking by:

  • developing your own unique insights
  • sharing your thinking and ideas respectfully with the group
  • encouraging and supporting others as they speak their ideas,
    confusion, or questions
  • managing your desire to do more than your fair share of the talking

Deep Listening

You developed your openness as a collaborator by:

  • listening attentively to your teammates
  • asking clarifying questions
  • building on others’ ideas

Exploratory Talk

You developed your voice as a math learner and as a member of a learning group by:

  • noticing and wondering about a problem
  • extracting information and forming questions
  • trying a variety of approaches

Reflective Talk

You developed a sense of self-awareness as a math learner by:

  • noticing out loud other learners’ insights, strategies, or contributions that helped to move the group’s learning forward
  • noticing what you personally did well as a member of the group
  • noticing what you personally need to keep working on to become a more effective member of a mathematical learning group.

I didn’t want a rubric, so I stripped off all the points, and just made it a set of expectations.  If you’re interested in the latex version, you can find it on my sharing handouts page (it’s at the bottom).

And this is my absolute last blog post until I get that stupid syllabus done.


4 thoughts on “My new, explicit, Mathematical Collaboration Expectations

  1. bretbenesh says:

    I am totally stealing this.

  2. bretbenesh says:

    I am a big fan of Cooperative Learning, due to its proven, research-based record. It has five elements to it (; I am reasonably good at three of them, but I suck at the other two, which are “Social Skills” and “Group Processing.” This rubric should help me.

  3. […] thing that needs to be added to my Mathematical Collaboration Expectations is […]

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