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Guidelines for Small Group Work

Guidelines for Small Group Work

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

When students are working with a camera, the sweet spot for breaking them into groups tends to be four students. Students can have distinct jobs (director, camera, sound, and on-camera talent) while still allowing for roles to frequently rotate. However, practical circumstances sometime prevent this ideal breakdown, and there are certainly other formations that can be just as effective when properly implemented. Questions to consider: 

• Are there creative ways to rotate or take turns? For example, can one small group work with a camera while others engage in a separate assignment? 

• What ways can you capitalize on the activities or roles students naturally gravitate towards? Are there ways to create teams to focus on different elements and responsibilities? (e.g., storyboarding team, design team, research team, etc.) 

• Consider the factors at play in making a successful team—abilities, personalities and even the mood of the day. You can vary the ways in which groups are divided (randomly selected, selected by teacher, self-selected) to find what works best.

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