Group working skills


We have been working in groups quite a lot with my 4th grade. It is difficult to develop one’s group working skills if we only talk about group working skills and don’t write down precisely what they are.


I wanted the teacher trainees to become aware of this. Self assessment is a skill the pupils need to learn. How could they assess their group working skills? We needed to find out the skills. We needed to have some material to build an ENV-model.


The pupils were given a list of comments they had used during a group working session.


- I don’t want to write anything.

- Who could write this?

- Could you help?

- Why do you want a red piece of paper?

- OK, I’ll write it if nobody wants to write it.

- I can help you in thinking.

- I want to have the red piece of paper.

- What colour should we choose?

- What are you doing there? Come here!

- I want to go out. Can I go now?

- OK, let’s take the blue piece of paper, if you’ve already got it.

- Can we take turns in writing?

- All the others want the red piece of paper.


The pupils were given a task to write a sentence beginning with He… after every comment. They had to think of a verb that would describe what the person saying something was actually doing.


This was difficult for them but the word He gave them a good start.


The teacher collected all the sentences.


For example


I don’t want to write anything.



- He doesn’t take part in.


- He refuses to write.


- He doesn’t want to do the work.


Who could write this?



- He asks the others.


- He suggests a question.


- He shares the work.


Now the pupils were asked to find a parameter for each comment.


For example


taking part in




asking for help


wanting to know why


working voluntarily


These parameters have values: they either take place or don’t. The groups can choose which parameters they need to develop when doing the group work. They can have certain aim to assess.


The parameters will be still developed further. The pupils’ comments were that they had been teaching themselves when they found the parameters. Working with the ENV-model was very concrete.



# Renata Jonina 2011-11-23 22:40
Kirsi, I do not work with 4th grade but your task sounds really interesting and ENV is presented in a simple and meaningful way to young learners. At least that's how i perceive it.
Can you please connect the task to the steps of the framework?
It would be useful if we could all use template suggested for posting our reflections because this way it would be easier to follow Steps of the framework.
Many thanks in advance!
# Susan Granlund 2011-11-24 20:35
Kirsi, I think this is such a useful way to use ENV and to help children work out very difficult things themselves! Maybe you could put the final ENV version in the materials section to show how practical the result is? You've done very interesting work!
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