A huge part of CREST in 3rd-6th grade is collaboration. Early in the school year, we focus on simpler group work that will gradually build up the skills for more intricate service learning projects. Group sizes can vary and can sometimes even be just partner work. Students are tasked with communicating clearly and kindly while figuring out who is the most effective for what job. Sometimes this is easier said than done! Collaboration is such an important skill and it challenges the students to figure out what is best for the group versus themselves individually. 
In 4th grade, we created a mural for the library in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. To assemble the mural, we assigned sections and each group hung up their pieces. Unfortunately our first attempt was unsuccessful. We took the time to discuss as a class what was challenging about the first try.  The students themselves came up with new groups, new materials (better tape!) and job titles. We also worked on how we communicate with one another - especially in the library! Group work can often bring out frustrations and CREST is a safe place to practice reframing our words and tone of voice. Reflection was key in this particular project. The students looked honestly at what needed more effort and reassessed how they could work more efficiently. The finished product really proves it was worth the time and effort!