Some of the main goals in an English class are to help students become better writers, enhance their critical thinking skills, and improve communication. These strengths may seem individualistic by nature, but working in groups in the classroom can benefit students’ development of these skills. Students need to learn how to work in groups to establish the essential college and career skills they'll need after high school. Here are three benefits of group work in the secondary ELA classroom. 1. Collaborate with New Students Group work allows students to work with people they don’t usually collaborate with or spend time with. Most middle and high school students choose to associate with their friends in class or students with whom they feel comfortable. By doing so, they generally spend time with people similar to themselves. Maintaining an element of group work in the classroom allows students to work with other people that are not in their immediate circle. This process hel...
As a high school English teacher, I assign my students many  writing assignments over the course of the year. Some assignments are quick 3-sentence responses , some are literary analysis paragraphs, some are narrative responses, and some are complete, multi-paragraph essays. In addition to assigning and assessing individual writing, I also assign several collaborative writing projects throughout the year. While it is essential to assess student writing on an individual level, collaborative writing projects are extremely beneficial for students...and even teachers. 1. Built-in peer editing When students work together to produce one well-written piece of writing, they take each other's’ best ideas and incorporate them into the final piece. Not only do students have two (or more) sets of eyes looking at the paper, but students also draft and revise as they go. 2. Less grading When students partner up to produce one paragraph or one essay, that reduces the grading load i...