Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Overview of Earth's Systems - Section 4: Explore


Expert Teaching Groups 

I chose to introduce this unit through student led inquiry because I knew I was going to have several opportunities to build upon the foundation that is set in this lesson.   The only information that I provide students is the four names of Earth's systems.  It is their responsibility to research their assigned system, learn as much as they can about it, and help their group members understand it and be prepared to teach it.  I will be reinforcing what they learn through hands on activities in future lessons. 

Using this strategy is a way to differentiate for all learners.  Some students learn best from reading, others from listening, some from pictures, and some from teaching others.  Using the strategy of expert teaching reaches all of these learning styles.  This strategy is beneficial for advanced students because they often take the lead in the researching by searching for the information they need and reading it to other groups members.  This strategy is also beneficial for struggling students such as ESE and ELL as well as low readers because they have the opportunity to hear the information being read and put into "common language" by their peers.  They see the information written either on the computer or on another group members paper as they copy.  They also have the opportunity to practice what they are going to say with their group before teaching it to another group.  

Challenges With Using This Strategy 

One of the biggest challenges that I have come across using this strategy is that students want to copy detailed information down instead of putting it into their own words.  Because some students had so much information, they wrote very small on the large foldable posters.  You can see in the video of expert teaching challenge that this student is writing so small you can not decipher what is being written.  This led to some students constantly asking, "what does that say" over and and over.  This prolonged the process.  I really wanted only a few word summary for each bullet, not long sentences, and I should have modeled how to write it big enough for everyone to see.  

  Student Led Inquiry: Expert Teaching Groups
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Overview of Earth's Systems

Unit 7: Earth's Systems
Lesson 1 of 14

Objective: SWBAT describe Earth's Systems as the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

Big Idea: Students work in groups to research one of the Earth's systems and then become the experts in that area to teach their peers.

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