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Assign Project Roles to Strengthen Collaboration Skills


Social-Emotional Learning/Growth Mindset 21st Century Skills All Ages Strategy


Flexible Thinking Social Awareness

Assign Project Roles to Strengthen Collaboration Skills

In the end, what you do isn't going to be nearly as interesting or important as who you do it with.
— John Green

Have students play different roles in the group so they learn to listen to peers, voice their own opinions, and collaborate effectively.

How To Apply It!

If a student is uncomfortable working in a group, you can help by outlining the four main responsibilities needed in group projects.

Start by identifying which role might be most comfortable for the student and let the student play that role first. Listen in on the group and provide the student specific positive reinforcement or suggestions to improve.

Take into consideration how the student's strongest or weakest Mindprint skills might affect group performance.

As appropriate, let the student develop confidence in a single type of role or progress to trying out new roles.

These are the primary roles students can play in group projects:

Moderator: This person helps the discussion run smoothly, makes sure everyone has the chance to be heard, and may need to play the role of tiebreaker. (Might be less comfortable for students with weaker executive functions or auditory processing.)

Scribe: This person takes notes and makes sure no items are lost or forgotten. (Might be less comfortable for students with weaker visual motor skills, auditory processing, attention or working memory.)

Timekeeper: This person makes sure the discussion moves along at the proper rate so the group can accomplish the assignment on time. (Might be less comfortable for students with weaker attention.)

Summarizer: This person wraps up the discussion by summarizing what was agreed upon including next steps. The Summarizer can ask the Scribe to read back notes if he has weaker memory or attention (Might be less comfortable for students with weaker reasoning.)

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

While every child will have a natural preference for one or two of these roles, teaching children to handle all four of these roles will make them far more effective in school and beyond.