Talk to the person next to you!

By Peter Ellis

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Does anyone else do this? I do it quite a bit. It can be good when you introduce a new topic, in order to find out how much the class already knows, or for review of previous lesson’s work. Just say to the class “Talk to the person sitting next to you for one minute about …” Then wander around the room and eavesdrop. No right answers or wrong answers, no having to expose your ignorance in front of the whole class. It is a very time-efficient way of spotting misconceptions and gaps in knowledge, or conversely knowing you can move on because the topic is already well understood. My experience is that students always seem happy to do it, and it has become a routine part of students’ expectation.

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