Have you ever noticed that you can tell your child 18 times to pick up his or her toys and they don’t do it? But when a friend suggests picking up after they are done playing, they do it with a smile on their face.
This can be frustrating as a parent and a teacher. But it proves an important theory…children sometimes listen to and learn best from each other.
In Mrs. Schneider’s third grade classroom this week, Mrs. Antonelli (substitute) and I demonstrated for students how to play the role of a teacher when working with a partner. We modeled how to give praise to our partner and also how to coach our partner when a mistake is made or they need some extra help. We learned that we should never just give the answer to our friend, but rather, ask questions to guide their thinking and give them small clues. After that, everyone was paired up, and we played some fun math multiplication games. Students practiced how to be the “teacher” when their partner got the correct answer and also when they needed support to solve the equation correctly.
It was wonderful to watch the students take ownership for their learning and amazing to see the attentiveness of everyone when their partner was being the teacher. Everyone was engaged and many students learned something new from their partner. Overall, students as teachers was not only effective but also a lot of fun!