Reply To: Really frustrating 5th grade

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I do a lip sync contest with my 5th graders. I do decades and give them a sheet of appropriate songs from that decade. They choose a song and then they have to research and write a one page paper on the group. Then they give a speech as a group of the information they found on their band (speech given before their performance). Then they make props for their performance. They practice outside of class and then come in and perform for the class. They dress the part and have real instruments to perform their lip sync. I even video tape it and then we watch the performances after every group has performed. The winning group usually gets a pizza party with me for lunch. Then I also do a music board game project. The groups have to come up with a musical idea for a board game that includes 30 musical (general music/music history based) questions. They design and make the entire game-from the cards, to the instructions, and the actual board. Then when they are finished they play each others board games. Group work for sure is the way to go-however you have to keep an eye on the slackers in the groups. They tend to not want to do anything. I have consequences for the students who don’t work. Usually it is writing sentences during class time. It only takes one time of that and they usually start helping. However, it sounds like there is a respect issue there for you…they need to show you that!