Lesson 15: Team Problem Solving


Question of the Day: How can we work together to make a great team?

Students work together to set group norms and brainstorm what features they would like their websites to have. The class starts by thinking of some popular teams in different contexts, then reflects on what makes teams successful. They then get into their own teams and make a plan for how they will interact and reach success in their own projects. Afterwards, the teams begin to brainstorm ideas for their website project.


This lesson explicitly addresses the challenges students may find working in a group and supports them in crafting a plan to overcome these challenges. Students should refer back to this lesson throughout the unit as they work in teams to complete their projects.


Lesson Modifications

Warm Up (10 Minutes)


Wrap Up

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Students will be able to:

  • Communicate and collaborate with classmates in order to solve a problem


Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

For the Teachers

For the Students


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Teaching Guide

Lesson Modifications

Attention, teachers! If you are teaching virtually or in a socially-distanced classroom, please see these modifications for Unit 2.

Warm Up (10 Minutes)

Teaching Tip

You may also choose to have this game displayed as the class walks in, and allow them to write down their answers at their own pace.

Game: Top Five Teams


Today is the first day that you get to work in your teams. Before we do that, we're going to think of some of the top teams in the world. When I say a category of team, everyone should write down the team you think most of the class will answer as the top team. If you choose the most popular team, you get a point. Remember, it's not the one you think is the top, but the one you think most people will answer.

  1. Top Music Team (band or singing group)
  2. Top Sports Team
  3. Top Superhero Team
  4. Top Villain Team
  5. Top Kid-only Team

Have students share out their answers after each one, and note the most popular answer, giving "points" to those who guessed correctly.

Discussion Goal

This game and discussion should prime students to think about strategies for successful teamwork on the project. Feel free to swap out the categories for ones that make more sense for your own classroom.

Prompt: We've mentioned some very successful teams. Write down three things that you think made these teams so successful.

Share: Allow students some time to write down their own answers, then have them share with the rest of the class. Highlight characteristics that will be helpful when they are working with their teams on the project.

Question of the Day: How can we work together to make a great team?


Group: Place students in their project groups.

Display: Show the Teamwork video (available in the slides and on Code Studio).

Distribute: Hand out the activity guide.

Team Goal

The teams should already have the topic for their project, but they should check that they are all in agreement about the topic.

Teaching Tip

This type of personal reflection and sharing may be difficult for some students. Depending on the class, you may want to take some time to review how to listen respectfully to others in the group. This first activity is a good chance for students to practice this type of listening. Some groups may need teacher intervention to explain what sorts of specific behaviors promote good group dynamics.

Skills and Goals

Each student should identify their own personal strengths and areas of growth for the project, then share those out with the group.

Students use what they've learned to come up with a plan for their group and how they will support each other.

Bringing Different Ideas Together

Content Corner

Fostering an inclusive culture and collaborating around computing are core practices in the CS K12 Framework. Students may need guidance on effective strategies for inclusion and collaboration. For example, some students may suggest a "majority rules" approach to disagreement. Challenge students to think of how that may exclude valuable perspectives and whether there are better strategies that can incorporate the entire team's voice.


Part of working in groups is having lots of different ideas, and team members don't always agree on how to bring their ideas together. We're going to explore some different ways that a team can manage disagreement to make their product even better.

Display: Show the video on Managing Disagreement, which is available on Code Studio and in the lesson slides.

Students plan how they will deal with disagreement and come up with strategies for advocating for themselves and their team members.

Looking forward

Students define what success will look like in the context of the project and anticipate what will be the most challenging and most fun parts of the project.

Circulate: As students are completing or have completed the guide, circulate around the room and ask them about their plans for working together in a group. You may want to point out the advantages and disadvantages of certain strategies.

Share: Have different groups share out aspects of their plans. You may want to call out specific effective strategies that you saw during the activity.


Discuss: Give students time to brainstorm ideas for their project in their teams. They can talk about different content or website features that they would like. As they discuss, keep an eye out for potential problems in group dynamics and intervene if necessary. Remind team members of their plans and how they can contribute to a successful team.

Wrap Up


Question of the Day: How can we work together to make a great team?

Prompt: When you work in a team, it's important to recognize when your team members do something great. For each member of your team, write down one "shout-out" that recognizes a special way they contributed to the group today.

  • Lesson Overview
  • 1
  • (click tabs to see student view)
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Teaching Tip

Student Instructions

  • Video: Teamwork
  • 2
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Teaching Tip

Goals for Discussion

The goal of this video is to help students come into teamwork with a positive attitude, and give them a few suggestions for how to make their teams run more smoothly.

Students may have different ideas for the advantages of working on a team, but they should note that people can get more done in a team, and that bringing in a diversity of ideas will make a project better.

Tips mentioned in the video are to

  1. Have a plan
  2. Give everyone a special role
  3. Celebrate successes of your teammates
  4. Have fun!
  5. Figure out everyone's strengths
  6. Listen to and respect everyone's ideas
  7. Be confident in sharing your ideas

Student Instructions

Questions to Consider:

  • What are the advantages to working in a team?
  • What are some tips for teams to work well together?
  • Video: Managing Disagreement
  • 3
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Teaching Tip

Discussion Goals

Students should understand that disagreement is a normal part of teamwork and have strategies for constructively dealing with disagreement in their teams.

Tips in the video are:

  1. Appreciate that your team has lots of ideas, even if you don't agree with all of them.
  2. Be curious about the other ideas, and try to understand what is good about them.
  3. Compromise with your teammates, taking goo parts of lots of ideas and putting them together.

Student Instructions

Question to consider:

  • What are three tips for dealing with disagreement?

Standards Alignment

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CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017)

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 2-AP-15 - Seek and incorporate feedback from team members and users to refine a solution that meets user needs.
  • 2-AP-18 - Distribute tasks and maintain a project timeline when collaboratively developing computational artifacts.
  • 2-AP-19 - Document programs in order to make them easier to follow, test, and debug.
IC - Impacts of Computing
  • 2-IC-20 - Compare tradeoffs associated with computing technologies that affect people's everyday activities and career options.
  • 2-IC-22 - Collaborate with many contributors through strategies such as crowdsourcing or surveys when creating a computational artifact.