Here is the background material I'm using for developing the group work morning sessions. Please note that this is NOT required reading! Recreational reading only! So please don't freak out! :)
I wanted to give people a sense of the framework and background I'd like us to start from so attendees can decide whether this morning session will be right for them. I also wanted to provide links and titles to valuable materials.
These are listed in order of relevance to the Group Work Working Group morning session — they are not in formal bibliographical form.
National Academies Press, How People Learn (downloadable PDF here)
This amazing free book provides the framework within which we'll consider the use of group work. I am especially keen for us to explore how we can develop and implement tasks that fit within their (approximately) four-stage cycle for optimizing learning with understanding while also fitting with our own individual school and district requirements. In a nutshell, the four stages are as follows:
STAGE 1 - a hands-on introductory task designed to uncover & organize prior knowledge (in which collaboration cultivates exploratory talk to uncover and organize existing knowledge)
STAGE 2 - initial provision of a new expert model (with scaffolding & metacognitive practices) to help students organize, scaffold, & develop new knowledge (in which collaboration provides a setting to externalize mental processes and to negotiate understanding)
STAGE 3 - what HPL refers to as "'deliberate practice' with metacognitive self-monitoring" (in which collaboration provides a context for advancing through the 3 stages of fluency with metacognitive practices)
STAGE 4 - transfer tasks to extend and apply this new knowledge & understanding in new and unfamiliar non-routine contextsMalcolm Swan, "Collaborative Learning in Mathematics" (downloadable PDF here)
A short and highly readable summary of Swan's instructional design strategy for collaborative tasks, including notes on his five types of mathematical activities that constitute the bulk of the Shell Centre's formative assessment MAP tasks and lessons.
Malcolm Swan, Improving learning in mathematics: challenges and strategies (downloadable PDF here)
An in-depth introduction to Swan's approach to designing and using the kind of rich tasks offered by the Shell Centre and the MARS and MAP tasks.
Chris Bills, Liz Bills, Anne Watson, & John Mason, Thinkers (can be purchased from ATM here)
The richest source book imaginable for ideas for activities to stimulate mathematical thinking. Often credited by Malcolm Swan and Dylan Wiliam.
Anne Watson & John Mason, Questions and Prompts for Mathematical Thinking (can be purchased from ATM here)
The richest source book imaginable for variations on questioning and prompting strategies.
Dylan Wiliam, Embedded Formative Assessment
This book is a gold mine. Don't leave home without it.