Wintermute here and this is Dumbr. Today I will briefly discuss conflict resolution. I’m not talking about how to deal with problem students, but instead teaching students how to deal with other students. This is very important if you ever hope to have successful group activities in class.
For every group you make you need t have a task manager, the task manager is responsible for making sure all other students in that group do their jobs, they also need to make sure everyone is participating and discussing.
This will make one person responsible for the whole group, meaning if the group does bad it is that persons fault, so pick a responsible kid who wants a good grade.
But what if a problem arises, how does the task manager deal with it. First off a task manager and/or teacher should never use names when describing the problem. Meaning you should say something like, “some members of the group are not staying on task. These members are blah blah blah (whatever the problem is)”. Don’t let them point fingers, as a group, or better, as a whole they are all doing wrong and should all work together to fix the problem. This works for kids not adults, I hate passive people who say stuff like this, but it’s great for kids otherwise you will have even more problems.
Give every student their chance to say their peace. In our day in age we are not allowed to single out students, think of those silly participation awards during gym events, so that everyone feels included. Again I don’t love it either but kids are so sensitive these days and parents are even worse.
Last, I found that having a list of the classroom rules on the wall works well. Have it easy to access and take off the wall. If a group is doing badly a student can go and get the list and read off the rules. This makes it more tangible and easier for them to see what is wrong. It makes it theirs, their rules; it helps them feel more in control of the situation and the problem and makes them feel like they can fix it. Again, I don’t like posting rules on the wall but sadly, and while it feels very 1984, it does work.