We’ve decided to include the fourth graders in the Maker Rings. Usually they are part of the Lower School group, but our two fourth graders are imaginative, crafty, curious, and ready to become part of this process, so we included them. This means 20 kids are participating and this week we formed them into smaller groups, the actual “Rings”.
Borrowing a technique from the TribesLearning Community, we asked each student to identify three other students who they thought they would like to work with. We asked them to consider who would help them “do their best work”. That means considering who they might be likely to go off task with, or who would distract them, and not requesting that person. Each student listed three other students on their request card.
Then, teachers took those cards and arranged them into groups, ensuring that each student had at least one other person in their group who they had listed on their request card. This process isn’t always easy, as some students are requested frequently, and others less so. Interesting, that every student was requested by at least one other student.
In the process of making the groups we played around with the cards in different groupings, recording each and then trying again. After a couple of tries we came up with 5 groups of 4 students. Each group, except one, contains 2 boys and 2 girls. Every group is mixed-age. And every group includes kids who asked to work together.