Becoming An Expert Project

Each year I have my students complete a project called “Becoming An Expert.”   For this project I put them in groups of 3 or 4 students (depending on the size of the class).  Once they are in their groups we go over the directions for the project.

Once students have a clear understanding of the objective then they begin working together to create a lesson plan on their given topic.  All groups must have their lesson plans approved by the teacher before proceeding to the next step.  The following is an overview of how I lay-out the project:

  • Day #1: Go over project objective and put students in groups. Assign a leader for each group.  Make sure that the leader understands their role and responsibilities.
  • Day #2: Have students pick a topic (from a given list) and let them begin working on a draft of their lesson plan.  Students should decide who will be in charge of each part of the lesson plan.
  • Day #3: Groups meet with the teacher one on one to go over their final lesson plans.  Teacher must sign off on lesson before the group can proceed.  Teacher also gives the leader a “completion of work” form to fill out and turn in on the day they present.  This form asks the leader to describe the role that each person played in the group, a description of what each person did, and an signatures from each member agreeing to what the leader wrote.
  • Day #4: Allow students time to work on lesson plans (i.e. practice problems, guided practice, PowerPoint, posters, worksheets, lesson quiz, etc)
  • Day #5: Have students complete remaining tasks needed to present their lesson.  Each group will also be required to complete a “dress rehearsal” of their lesson to the other members in their group.
  • Day #6-9: Groups will present lessons to class.  Members of the class are required to take notes on the lesson, participate in the lesson quiz and fill out a feedback form.  Once lessons are complete the class will discuss what they liked about the lesson and the group who presented will be able to share what they think went well and what they would do differently in the future.
  • Day #10: Students will write a one page paper reflecting on this project.

This project has left a profound impact on both my students and myself.  For information on this project, please reference the book: Hands-on Math Projects with real-life applications by Judith A. Muschla & Gary Robert Muschla.  Enjoy!

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