Learners work more efficiently when they clearly know what they have to do and what are we waiting from them. This is why we daily write the OBJECTIVES in the blackboard together with the specific VALUES of the class and we make success criteria explicit before kids write their 1st draft of a story/text. However, when it comes to group work I always become frustrated because many times they don´t work appropriately, they tend to discuss too much (specially girls!!!) or there´s always one member that doesn´t do anything. In February we were planning with Patsy and we found a set of cards with roles for group work in the blog of a teacher from the USA. I´ve presented them to the kids, I know it will take time but I´m hopeful kids will little by little become aware of what group-work really involves.
NOTE: There are four main roles: Speaker, Materials Manager, Recorder and Time Keeper. Two secondary roles will be used when there is a group of more than four: Trouble Shooter and Facilitator. We have several sets if you want to try them out!!