Facilitating Student's Math Understanding through Small Group Work

Ellen Ho, '10, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


Effective implementation of collaborative small group work in the high school classroom has the potential to enhance learning and understanding for all students (Webb, et al., 2009). My selfstudy focuses on how small group work can be implemented in a classroom so that all students are working together productively to understand math. During the fan of 2009, I developed and taught geometry lessons involving research-based group activities to approximately 70 students in a diverse high school in Central Illinois. I video-recorded and analyzed student interactions during small group activities. I documented my teaching experience and analyzed student responses on questions pertaining to what they perceived as the benefits and disadvantages of small group· work. Results indicated that students engaged constructively with each other the most when the activity was meaningful and when I acted as a facilitator of their discussions. However, small group work should not be the sole method of instruction in a classroom, as it does not cater to all learning preferences. This study contributes to the growing amount of research regarding how collaborative small group work supports student success in diverse classroom settings.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2010


  • Education
  • Mathematics

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