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ALL Improvement TeamsEquitable Groupwork (2017-18)Speaking Accountability in Groups
Speaking Accountability in Groups

Change Package
Speaking Accountability in Groups

10th , 11th; Math , 9th at Health Sciences High and Middle College
By Staci Benak and Kristin Speck

According to research under John Hattie’s Visible Learning, student discourse has an effect size of .82, which is nearly two years of academic growth. While the students are in heterogeneous groups, their academic expectations rise which studies have found to have a strong positive influence for a student’s capacity to learn.

Impact on Teaching

Our goal was to use strategic grouping which fosters student discourse in order to enhance student achievement with student accountability.

Impact on Students

In our second impact cycle using strategic formative assessment, we heard from far more students and it helped us to see any gaps in their learning. It was difficult for some students to really articulate their thinking.

By using sentence frames in our third cycle, we found that E.L. students were much more comfortable speaking in their groups, however we were surprised by how much modeling needed to happen with the use of the sentence frames. Moving further, we think we will be more explicit about the sentence frames and expect all students to start using them.

  1. Students are in heterogeneous groups of 4-5 and given a task.
  2. The expectation is that students are using academic vocabulary to articulate their thinking and mathematical process.
  3. Students are provided with sentence frames at their tables to help them create more fluid discourse.
  4. Teachers walk the room with a clipboard and listen in on groups conversations, taking note of who is speaking.
  5. Teacher measures growth through formative assessment via exit ticket.
  • Students need accountability for student discourse therefore, we kept track of students speaking in their groups as we walked around the room
  • Students need modeling for use of sentence frames therefore the sentence frames would be used explicitly by teacher when examples were given. Also, we would make a point to refer students to the sentence starters when students would speak to the whole group.