Group work and learning

The Perils of Group Work

The last few weeks we have been working on our ‘Waggle Dance’ performances. The children have been placed in groups and have been working together to compose a dance, song or both, that informs their audience about the amazing way that bees communicate with each other. Each group have done an amazing job and I am very impressed with their outcomes.

We have been undertaking a lot of activities that have required us to work in groups. The groups are not necessarily based on friendship circles, so the children are working with people that they would not necessarily work with. Any group work leads to certain issues (even with adults). It has been fascinating for me to watch the trials and tribulations of group work over this term. Group work is a skill that we have to learn. So, I set about researching the developmental milestones of peer interaction within the Year 2 age group.

I discovered that it is very typical of this age group to struggle a little during group work. They start to become more aware of themselves and their need to be heard but not necessarily hearing others. They are still developing their sense of self at the same time moving away from parallel play.

We will be doing a lot of group work this term to help us learn about one of our school foundations, “Getting Along.” I am very impressed so far with the children and their growing awareness of others.

Is it a solid or a liquid? 

During our science unit we have discussed and come up with definitions for solid, liquid and gas. We are now testing these definitions with a number of experiments. The most recent experiment that we have completed was the ‘Corny Goo” were we asked ourselves the above question. WOW, what a great activity. Mixing cornflour and water to create a runny goo, however when manipulated the runny goo becomes a solid and then reverts back to a liquid when not handled. I love it when the class are pushed a little out of their comfort zone or a little puzzled by questions such as this one. During this challenging time a lot of great learning takes place. When asked ‘Is it a solid or a liquid?” some of the comments were:

  • “this is confusing because it fits both meanings…”
  • “I don’t know, but I love it…”
  • “it’s both…”
  • “Has it got to do with the particles thingys?”

Our conversation lead to materials changing under certain forces/energies. Great activity, amazing learning and all constructed by the students themselves. Can’t wait for next session where we talk about density.