Collaborative Student Groups

Critical Friends: Share Out

Peer-review is an integral part of each learning cycle, and I spend much of the first three units teaching my students to engage in a critical analysis of each other’s work. Having another set of eyes examine work samples and offer feedback on how to address weak points in their arguments adds a valuable teamwork element to class structure. At the end of each unit, students complete a culminating lab where I pose a guiding question, and groups develop an experiment that will hopefully answer the question. To encourage deeper analytical thinking and avoid students submitting rushed work, I use Critical Friends Share Out periods to facilitate group reviews before final drafts are assessed. Students present their digital portfolios to another group by laying out the argument, evidence, and reasoning that they’ve compiled using Google Apps for Ed, Youtube, and Wikispaces (see “Lab Documentation” strategy). Just walking their classmates through their portfolio causes students to evaluate their own work and fix holes in their arguments. During this time, the other group takes notes and prepares for a critical review period. I want all students to be able to contribute positively to these discussions and give each group member a chance to support their classmates.

Strategy Resources (2)
Student Work Sample
 
 
For my students' project on electron chemistry, they used 123d circuit starter kits to design their own circuits, and explain how batteries produce electricity from chemical energy. During Maria's critical friends share out time, she used this critical vocabulary and content knowledge info sheet to provide her argument with visual support.
 
Student Work Sample
 
 
For my students' project on electron chemistry, they used 123d circuit starter kits to design their own circuits, and explain how batteries produce electricity from chemical energy. During Maria's critical friends share out time, she used this critical vocabulary and content knowledge info sheet to provide her argument with visual support.
Jeff Astor
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Eleventh grade
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