The baskets worked great! I had all of the supplies including printed directions in each basket. I assigned a Captain and a Supply Manager for each group. My Captains kept everyone focused on the task and kept track of time. The Supply Manager distributed the supplies out of the basket, read the directions and collected everything at the end of the time limit. I feel like they did a good job with their roles so that is staying.
I did change the desk set up though, I had three groups of six which I really liked, but 1. it was hard to get them in position, and 2. this is a very chatty group of students and although I'm working on getting that under control, I think its too many together. Right now they are paired up in rows and I have three groups, I had the middle pair split up and one will move to the right and the other will move left. So it will look like this:
Another observation I've made is that this group of students, while they are challenging as far as their behavior goes, they have already demonstrated some great math talk and reasoning! I can't wait to start actually blogging about their math soon!!