How to TeamMastermind (continued)
4—Mastermind Where in the World?
Often there is a disconnect between school life and real life. The Where in the World component invites the children to consider that the lessons presented in a TeamMastermind seminar will serve them both in and out of school. You may choose to use a discussion format or you may want the students to keep a TeamMastermind journal to record their thoughts for each seminar.
5—Mastermind Go for the Goal
As educators we are familiar with SWBAT—student will be able to—and our lesson plans often include this language. Go for the Goal is an opportunity for each child to use language that says, “By the end of this lesson I will be able to.” This ownership of goal attainment is a good first step towards taking personal responsibility for learning. You may choose to ask the children to keep a TeamMastermind journal for recording their seminar goals.
The challenge is the heart of the Mindwinder. It allows the children to pull together the skills they have learned and use them in a cooperative setting. It’s hard to work in teams; it’s even harder to work as an effective, cohesive team. This step gives students an opportunity to practice these crucial life skills.
a. Begin by arranging the students into groups of five to seven, and give each group a copy of the challenge. Then read it aloud. You may answer questions for clarification, but keep in mind that it is extremely important to let the students understand, discuss, and solve the challenge completely on their own.
b. Hand out the materials listed on the Activity page of each Mindwinder. If necessary, you may substitute materials; however, the replacements should be comparable to those specified. Many of the challenges involve “engineering,” and the materials have been selected accordingly. Please note: the items listed under the heading ‘Equipment’ on the activity sheets are not to be distributed to the student teams. These are the materials that you will need to have on hand to properly facilitate the activity. For example, when duct tape is listed under ‘Equipment’, it is most likely to be used to tape the start and finish lines. If the students will get duct tape as part of their supplies, it will be listed under the ‘Materials’ column.
c. Start the timer if there is a time limit.
d. Wander around the room. Listen to the interactions. Watch the students’ faces and body language. Encourage them without advising them. Ask questions. Answer their questions with questions.
e. When time is up, begin scoring. Each team will present its solution to the class. Use the information you have gathered in your wanderings to score the teamwork points. Scoring some of the items may seem subjective; however, you’ll quickly become adept at even-handed scoring that always encourages, never shames, and ultimately results in one winning team. Usually, the entire class will agree with your scoring, however, be sure to use the phrase “the judge’s decision is final” often!