Group Projects: Who Gets What? | Edutopia
Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Group Projects: Who Gets What?

9 575 Views

     My house is plastered with kid art and work. I hang up almost everything my son and daughter create at home or in school. I’m proud of it ––all of it, even the scribbly, sloppy messes. It’s pretty amazing to see your kid’s strengths and weaknesses in an almost collage-like wall presentation.

     I’m very conscious of art and projects that go home with my students. I want each and every student to have a wall at home just like my own kids, but with so many group projects, whether hard copy or computer based, there’s only so much that goes home nowadays. I try to take pictures of everything for my school website so parents and family can view them, but it’s not the same as having a memory in-hand or an art piece for the den. 

     When a group hard copy project needs to go home, I have a system in place to that makes it as fair as possible. It’s archaic.

Step One: I ask the group who wants the project. One Person? Easy. End of conversation. If there’s more than one, move to step two.

Step Two:  Rock, paper, scissors–– Winner of best of three takes home the cake. Yes, there’s whining involved.

      It’s not hard to decide who gets the project, but the end result is less than desirable. As a parent, I would love to own all of my kids projects, especially projects they’ve worked on for a long period of time. Is there a better way to do this? And as for the computer-based projects, you can always print out a Powerpoint, but that uses a lot of ink and paper. Prezi is cool, but my third graders have a difficult time using that program. I’m sure there’s plenty of web-based presentation Apps, but nothing beats a good-old fashioned art project, right?

What’s out there? What’s in your brain? Do share.

 

 

Comments (9)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England
Facilitator

I've made CD or DVD's of power points or other digital projects. Some years I have also created digital portfolio DVD's including pictures of group projects and pictures of students in the process of learning to create sort of a portfolio learning yearbook of sorts. I've also included pictures of field trips, school events etc. It creates an archive form for them to put into a keep sake box or share with other family members including grandparents.

(1)
Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator

Thanks, John. Those are all great ideas. I've used Twitter as a sharing method as well. I did some research on the use of Twitter to connect with parents a fews years ago. I even held a Twitter for beginners class just for parents to learn so they could follow my school twitter account. Each year a gain a few more followers. Twitter is great: a window into the classroom.

Now that I'm thinking about this. i guess I could take pictures of larger projects and then print out smaller versions of them for the "home wall."

Gaetan

Catherine Bushby's picture
Catherine Bushby
middle school language arts teacher/coordinator, drama teacher

Let them share. Allow each participant to take home the artwork to share with his/her family. Then, after everyone has had a turn, you may find that that's enough for some of them. If more than one person still wants it after having the opportunity to share it, then do your rock, papers, scissors.

(3)
John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England
Facilitator

I love that idea- kids get to share the original piece full size. I have a feeling most families (and students) trash projects when they go home. I love the wall idea and may have to do that for my own children.

Brian Sztabnik's picture
Brian Sztabnik
AP Literature teacher from Miller Place, NY
Blogger

I think Catherine's idea of letting the kids take turns with the projects is fantastic, and I love that you have all of your kids' work around your house. My son is only three and we already have more "art" than we should on display. (I am hoping the quality will improve with age...)
Something that my wife does frequently is upcycling the project-- using the artwork to make a thank you card for the teacher, using pieces to make homemade Christmas tree ornaments for grandparents, etc. Ultimately, if it is something that cannot be broken down into meaningful parts, I think that letting the students work it out for themselves with rock, paper, scissors is a fast and easy way to resolve the situation. But I am also interested to hear if there are any other ways to share. Great post to ponder.

(1)
EvyR's picture
EvyR
Student at Tufts University | Intern at Edutopia

I also really love Catherine's idea of sharing, but I wonder if it's practical to expect some kids to be responsible for remembering to bring the project back to school? I'm not a teacher, but my experience with many classmates has been a little flaky. :( Nonetheless, it's a great idea to test out!

Another idea would be to have the poster/display to be split into parts so each member can take home a part of the project. This idea would definitely require more planning at the start of the project, and it would depend on the type of project, but if this could be executed, I think each child would be happy taking home a portion of his/her hard work!

(1)
Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager
Staff

Brian, I love this idea!

"Something that my wife does frequently is upcycling the project-- using the artwork to make a thank you card for the teacher, using pieces to make homemade Christmas tree ornaments for grandparents, etc."

(1)
Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator

These are all great ideas!!! I really want to try the puzzle project where kids create a puzzle like sectioned project, then cut it into the pieces they've created to bring home. What Evy R said. brilliant! Thank you all for the great comments. Love the direction of this post.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager
Staff

Brian, I love this idea!

"Something that my wife does frequently is upcycling the project-- using the artwork to make a thank you card for the teacher, using pieces to make homemade Christmas tree ornaments for grandparents, etc."

(1)
EvyR's picture
EvyR
Student at Tufts University | Intern at Edutopia

I also really love Catherine's idea of sharing, but I wonder if it's practical to expect some kids to be responsible for remembering to bring the project back to school? I'm not a teacher, but my experience with many classmates has been a little flaky. :( Nonetheless, it's a great idea to test out!

Another idea would be to have the poster/display to be split into parts so each member can take home a part of the project. This idea would definitely require more planning at the start of the project, and it would depend on the type of project, but if this could be executed, I think each child would be happy taking home a portion of his/her hard work!

(1)
Brian Sztabnik's picture
Brian Sztabnik
AP Literature teacher from Miller Place, NY
Blogger

I think Catherine's idea of letting the kids take turns with the projects is fantastic, and I love that you have all of your kids' work around your house. My son is only three and we already have more "art" than we should on display. (I am hoping the quality will improve with age...)
Something that my wife does frequently is upcycling the project-- using the artwork to make a thank you card for the teacher, using pieces to make homemade Christmas tree ornaments for grandparents, etc. Ultimately, if it is something that cannot be broken down into meaningful parts, I think that letting the students work it out for themselves with rock, paper, scissors is a fast and easy way to resolve the situation. But I am also interested to hear if there are any other ways to share. Great post to ponder.

(1)
John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England
Facilitator

I've made CD or DVD's of power points or other digital projects. Some years I have also created digital portfolio DVD's including pictures of group projects and pictures of students in the process of learning to create sort of a portfolio learning yearbook of sorts. I've also included pictures of field trips, school events etc. It creates an archive form for them to put into a keep sake box or share with other family members including grandparents.

(1)
Catherine Bushby's picture
Catherine Bushby
middle school language arts teacher/coordinator, drama teacher

Let them share. Allow each participant to take home the artwork to share with his/her family. Then, after everyone has had a turn, you may find that that's enough for some of them. If more than one person still wants it after having the opportunity to share it, then do your rock, papers, scissors.

(3)

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.