If you look at the roster of a baseball team, you can tell that the best teams have a diverse set of skills. The pitchers can throw the ball the fastest and the outfielders tend to be the ones who can hit the ball the farthest. However if a baseball team was made only of the best pitchers in the world, it would be safe to say that they may strike out most of the players on the opposite team but they would be terrible at scoring runs.

 

Baseball_positions.svg

 

We want our students to recognize the importance of having a diverse skill set while working in groups. With the help of Scrum, students choose their teams based on skill, not friendship. Students get to know their peers’ skills by filling out profiles that describe who they are. Those profiles are then hung in the classroom. Students can walk up to the “Skills Board” to see who might be the best fit for their group. They are now looking at their peers differently: they base their decision on how to make their next project the best it could be.

As the type of projects change, so do the groups. Students see the value in having a teammate who is skilled in art, coding, or making iMovies depending on the type of project that they are working on. We want to encourage our students to realize the importance of working with different people. As a result, students become more open to various ideas and it increases collaboration throughout the classroom.

Classroom Example:

 

Figurative Language Scratch Project

Product: Team has been asked to create a video game using Scratch, an online coding site to help students learn more about the different types of Figurative Language.

Skills Needed: Coding, Writing, Research, Organization, Creativity, Computer Skills

Group 1 Skill                                                        Set Group 2 Skill Set

Child A- Coding                                                  Child A- Coding

Child B- Organization                                    Child B- Coding

Child C- Writing                                                 Child C- Coding

The classroom example above shows two different groups of students who picked their teams for the upcoming project. Group 1 pick teams based on skill, while group 2 picked their friends.

Group 2 loves to code and they love to work with Scratch. However, when it comes to creating a final product, they fail. The students in group 2 spent so much time coding, they ended up failing at creating a game that would help students learn more about Figurative Language.

Group 1 had a diverse set of skills. Child B kept the group on task with their organization skills, while Child C started to write the script for the game. Child A taught the other members in his group how to code, while gaining valuable skills from his teammates. Group 1 learned how to effectively collaborate.

It’s important for teachers to design projects that aligns with the types of skills their students have. As educators, it’s our job to include their interests and skills into their learning. When teachers design projects based on students skills, students will thrive in the classroom and shine as true collaborators.