How can you promote high quality student-to-student interaction in your classroom, implementing Expert Rush?
Expert Rush is a dynamic instructional strategy that fosters collaborative learning, speaking, listening, summarization, and synthesis skills. It encourages students to consolidate their understanding of a topic through interactive peer discussions. This instructional strategy is versatile and can be employed to introduce new material, review texts, or enhance students' discourse abilities.
Choose a topic that aligns with the learning objectives of the lesson. This could be related to a text students have read or a concept they are exploring. Create T-chart templates on blank sheets of paper. Clearly label the left side "What I know about this topic" and the right side "What I learned from my partner."
Start by introducing Expert Rush and its purpose to the students. Emphasise that they will be sharing their expertise and learning from their peers' insights through this collaborative exercise. Ensure students understand the T-chart's significance. Explain that they will record their initial knowledge on the left side and any new insights they gain from their partner's expertise on the right side.
Ask students to individually jot down what they know about the topic on the left side of their T-charts. If applicable, they can do this after reading relevant materials. Pair students either randomly or based on your preference. In each pair, designate one student as the "speaker" and the other as the "listener." Instruct the speaker to stand and share a significant piece of information or insight about the topic. For instance, if the topic is climate change, the speaker could say, "I am an expert on this topic because I know that human activities contribute to rising temperatures." Allocate 60 seconds for each sharing session.
The listener summarises what they heard from the speaker. They should begin with "According to [partner's name]," followed by a concise summary. They should conclude by asking, "Did I get that right?" If the listener misses any points or the speaker's information needs clarification, the speaker can provide additional details. The listener then adds these insights to the right side of their T-chart. Instruct pairs to switch roles so that the speaker becomes the listener and vice versa. In their new roles, students should engage in the same sharing and summarising process.
Allocate a few minutes for students to fill in the left column with new knowledge or understanding gained from the instructional strategy. As the teacher, observe students' active engagement, attentive listening, and the quality of insights they share. Utilise the information gained from students' T-charts and their discussions to assess their comprehension of the topic. Identify misconceptions or areas requiring further clarification.Expert Rush is an effective instructional strategy for fostering interactive learning, enhancing speaking and listening skills, and promoting deeper comprehension. By systematically sharing expertise, summarising peers' insights, and recording these reflections, students consolidate their understanding of the topic. This adaptable instructional strategy can be positioned as a pre-reading exercise, integrated during concept exploration, or employed as a reflective tool after instruction. Insights from discussions provide valuable guidance for tailoring instruction and addressing learning needs effectively.