Working in Groups is Beneficial

Felipe%2C+KamRon+and+Wilmer+work+on+a+project+in+science+class.+
Felipe, KamRon and Wilmer work on a project in science class.

Felipe, KamRon and Wilmer work on a project in science class.

Felipe, KamRon and Wilmer work on a project in science class.

Rebekah Nazaroff, Student Writer

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As students at KMS, we are required to do group work in our classes a majority of the time for projects.  It is important to have group work because we then create communication and teamwork skills we may need to use later in life.

The website, Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching has a page dedicated to Group Work in the Classroom. According to this website, when students are placed in groups to work together they develop communication skills along with teamwork skills. The same website indicated content is reinforced as students work together and “teach” each other through their own experience and expertise. This website also stated that students may struggle with making decisions in a group environment if they haven’t had much experience with this process.

When doing group work do you feel like you ever get a chance to speak, or is someone always being the leader? Elizabeth Clayton, a seventh grader, said, her experience with group work has been positive. She does not feel like one person is trying to take over the entire group. “I feel like I get to share just like everyone else.”

Victoria Lupian, a seventh grader, does not like group work because she said people tend to talk over one another so she prefers individual work. Marina Susoev, another seventh grader, said she likes group work because she can meet new people.”

Most teachers assign group projects to teach students life skills. Mrs. Smith, a seventh-grade science teacher, said, “I give group work of some sort almost every day.” She said the group work might be to quickly talk to group members, or it may be something that they work on together for the whole period.

“I give group work because I think working with others is a skill that students will need when they enter the workplace,” Mrs. Smith said. She added that she likes group work because the students get to interact with each other, but then some students might get distracted easy, talk more and get less work done.

Most teachers will assign members to each group, but it depends on the student’s behavior.  Mrs. Ratley, the seventh-grade honors English teacher, stated that when assigning group work she always picks the group so that students are balanced by ability. The only exception is if the project is informal. “Many students at this age lack the ability to work effectively when working with their friends as opposed to their peers,” she stated. “Sometimes working with friends works, sometimes not; it depends on the student and their internal motivations.”

Group work is all around you. It may not be your preferred style of learning, but every person in this school is working together to try to make this school the best it can be. For example, Jerry and the other custodians are working together to keep our campus clean. Mrs. Nichols, our school principal and Mr. Nelson and Mrs. Kismet, our school vice principals, are providing school rules and dress codes to provide every student safety here at KMS.

The next time your teacher gives you group work, be open to communicating with your peers. Find the benefits that will make you a better individual later in life.

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