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Group Students by Strengths for Peer Teaching or Study Groups

Tags

^21st Century Skills All Ages Strategy

Skills

Flexible Thinking Expressive Language Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning

Group Students by Strengths for Peer Teaching or Study Groups

If your student is ready to deepen their understanding by explaining to others

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will teach or explain concepts they have learned to peers in order to solidify their own understanding and retention.
  2. Direct Instruction: Group students in twos or threes and have them take turns explaining a concept to each other. Stronger students deepen their learning as they think through explanations, answer questions, and perhaps see the information from a different angle. Other students might recognize gaps in knowledge missed in a larger group. While all students can benefit, sensitivity to student knowledge in pairings is key. Peer teaching can also be incorporated during study groups.

Parental Support

At home, parents can encourage their student to explain a concept they are learning to a sibling. An older sibling will gain practice in explaining a concept in simpler words their younger sibling will understand. A younger sibling can explain what they have learned to an older sibling and might feel more comfortable asking questions if they are unsure of some parts.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Studies show that students benefit greatly from peer teaching, particularly when they are at different levels (Tsuei, 2012). Teaching others enhances our own understanding because it requires us to think through the details and offer explanations to questions we might not have asked ourselves. In addition, since peers are not yet experts and may more easily relate to misunderstandings and confusion. Finally, students listen differently to their peers from how they listen to adults, and, in some cases, learn more.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Attention, Inhibition, Long-term Memory, Short-Term Memory, Processing Speed (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)