Monday, April 14, 2014

Expert Groups...from Science/Social Studies to Math

Originally this post started out a State Testing Bashing Rant...however, I "Pollyanna'd" it and am, instead going to share the good that came out of preparing for the test.

To trying and at least get some practice with the stuff we haven't learned yet, we have been using expert groups.  They are not my own creation, it is a modified version of something from GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design).  I have never used expert groups with math before.  Usually a small group studies something then shares out.  For example, during science we are studying birds.  Groups worked together to learn about different bird habitats, then shared with rest of class.
I thought why couldn't something like this happen with math.

Here is what we have been doing-
Friday-Students are chosen to be expert group leaders.  (Before Monday I figure out what I want them to do.)
Monday-we have a "working lunch meeting."  I go over the three or four concepts I want the class to work on.  They choose the one they feel most comfortable teaching. 
Monday-Share their lesson with two groups of studnets
Tuesday-Share their lesson with two groups of students.

Then we repeat the process with new groups on Wednesday and Thursday. 
So far we have gone through the process twice. 
Round 1-Three Expert Groups
Shapes with lines/no lines of symmetry
Names of different polygons
 Balanced equations-apparently the class photographer missed this group:-)

Round 2-Four Expert Groups
Exploring 3-D shapes
3 dimensional shape organizer
Different kinds of lines
Different kinds of angles

I am amazed at how well it has been going.  I don't think it is something I could keep up with all year long, but it has been far more smooth than I thought it would be and everyone is learning something better than if I tried to do giant whole class lessons about all these different topics.

Happy Monday,


  1. Thank you for sharing--I LOVE this idea! What a great way to give students input in what they are learning. I think I may have to try something like this as we review for our BIG test! :)

  2. What a great way to give them the opportunity to teach. They learn so much when they have to teach someone else.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First