Benton Community recently celebrated the success of its fall sports teams with a pep rally. Each team was made up of a variety of individuals using their respective talents to accomplish a shared goal.

 Why should teamwork be limited to athletics?

 Students should have opportunities in the classroom to engage in learning as a team and not always as individuals, especially in mathematics. Misconceptions that students have can easily be hidden when they are always working individually. It is not always easy to practice articulating understanding independently. By working in a team, students are encouraged to explain why they know what they know to others. Being a part of a team in the classroom provides the opportunity for students to learn how to function within the dynamics of a group with a common purpose of continuous improvement.

 Teachers can strategically scaffold social skills into the teachable moments that arise, especially when students are learning how to respectfully disagree with each other. The benefit of forming academic relationships in addition to social relationships becomes clearer when the responsibility for academic success is shared. Students push each other to achieve more together, and the end result is more powerful than what can be accomplished in isolation.

Precalculus students work together to create their own equations.