Using strong students to help weaker students in lessons

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bloom, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Bloom

    Bloom Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Curious as to the forums thoughts on using stronger students to help weaker students (particularly in the area of language arts and reading). I thing using peer assistance is a good technique, but am curious as to experienced teacher's experiences and thoughts on this practice.

    Do you think that strong students get less instruction and resent helping? Do you think that weaker students get frustrated by being helped by stronger students?

    Thanks for any feedback!
     
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  3. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    please be careful with this. As a "stronger" student I hated never learning anything. Find a balance between using your strong students as helpers and enriching their learning. Also, while I was mature and a natural teacher-other students may not be-even though they are smart. And yes, I was resented by my weaker classmates.

    Now-having said all that I will probably use peer tutoring in my class but it all comes down to the balance and way you do it in.
     
  4. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I used peer tutoring for some math concepts last year. Sometimes I taught a concept/skill in a lot of different ways, but some kids just didn't get it. When another student told them the same thing, often they got it!

    I will also do buddy reading this year, and try to pair different levels of readers so that the weaker ones will get some extra help. I will let them choose friends to read with sometimes.
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I don't have kids peer tutor one another, because I don't want one child to feel "superior" over others, especially in a multi-age setting, where I feel like I have to be extra careful about that sort of thing.

    What I will do, is allow a child to "teach" the others how to do a task. For example, we have some independent projects for reading that are kept in folders. Some of them need some instruction, aside from what is on the directions. Once a child has chosen and completed one, they can teach others who want to do the same thing. During math, some kids finish earlier. They can play games. I leave it up to them to teach one another the games.
     
  6. SouthernTeach

    SouthernTeach Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I often pair up my children for work in Social Studies and Science. I try to pair a more able student with a less able student. I have done this many ways.... I just pick two students and put them together, or I have their names divided into two groups (they don't know it) and pull them out of a "hat".
    They of course, prefer to pick their own partner. I actually let them sometimes, but they understand I must "approve" their choice. Amazingly, they often pair themselves the way I would anyway.
    I had a parent last year who wanted her child moved into my classroom so a certain student in my room could be her peer tutor. I did not feel comfortable with that and asked the administration to not move the child into my room.... I just did not feel it was "healthy" to expect so much of the more able student (and obviously this parent expected a lot).
     

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