“Just use your fingers.”
I was in a first grade classroom last week. Two little people (Aiden and Lindsay *name change) were standing by their teacher; Lindsay was receiving help from the teacher, Miss Croy, and Aiden was waiting his turn.
“Read the problem again, Lindsay. What kind of problem is this?”
She answered subtraction.
“What can you do to solve this problem?”
This is when Aiden spoke, “Remember how we solved a subtraction problem yesterday? What did we do?”
“We used our fingers,” Lindsay replied.
“So put 6 on your fingers, now count back 4 with me.” Counting ensued.
“What you have left is the answer,” Aiden said. “Now you show me how to do this one.”
I was spellbound as I watched Aiden teach Lindsay how to do subtraction.
Like. A. Pro.
He activated prior knowledge. He tapped in to earlier experiences. He made connections. He helped her pick a strategy. He modeled. He scaffolded. He let the learning happen.
Thankfully, the two teachers in the room stayed out of the way and let him teach. After Lindsay happily skipped back to her seat with her wrinkled paper in hand, I was able to tell Aiden how proud I was of him for helping another student with her work. I told him he was an excellent teacher and I appreciated how he patient he was with Lindsay.
4 people learned something that day.
2 teachers realized students can peer teach.
2 students learned they can help and learn from each other.
2 + 2 = 4
Let them teach.
To learn more a about peer teaching, please check the resources below.
I’d love to hear you thoughts on peer teaching! Please leave me a comment below!
By Mary Kay Kane
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