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STEM curriculum writer, PLC author, consultant and trainer

What a great post, Heather!

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What a great post, Heather! You're right on track with placing importance on kids learning how to engage in productive teamwork. This should actually be happening at all levels, including K-12 - both students and teachers.

You offer some good tools for engaging all students. I also use teamwork self-assessments to help them stay focused and productive. I don't know how to upload the ideas here in a document, but you can download them from http://bit.ly/13xDors if you like.

I appreciate your post!

Author, The Middle School Student's Guide to Ruling the World!

Real life skills

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For the rest of their lives – through high school, college, and then in the workforce, students will participate in "group projects" in the form of study groups, research, business or sales teams, committees or boards. There’s strength in numbers, but there’s also conflict and frustration. Personality conflicts, unequal workload distribution, and unresolved disagreements can leave students with a negative impression of team activities. But a group project experience can be an ideal way to teach middle school students real-life skills (and challenges) of team work and team building. Here's a link to a Group Project Organizer I use to help student successfully manage their projects. It's modeled on the kind of document business teams use to manage a collaborative project.
http://www.middleschoolguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/TMSSGTRW-SW-...

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