First each student is motivated to understand because they will be explaining the information to their peer or partner. Even if they didn’t understand, they will be able to borrow from their partner’s explanation so they will be prepared to answer if the teacher selects them. I will tell the Ones to explain to the Twos what I have just shared. Then the Two will repeat this back to the One. This will include hand motions, songs, and anything else that appeals to other learning modalities.

Second each student feels safer in sharing. Shy students are more likely to share out loud when they practice first. If they choose to borrow their partner’s words they still have to learn that answer. It helps if they write down what they may share. Personal whiteboards are great for notes, or a pencil and paper will do.

English language learners need more time to translate the words of the teacher into their own language and more time still to understand the meaning of the lesson. Understand provides a natural break in the lesson to keep ELL students current in the lesson. Teaching is a staircase and you don’t want to miss a step on the way to the next floor.

Special Education students will benefit from the time to understand and process what has been said. Also, the teacher can make a point to stop by their seats and re-state what their expectations are and give examples. However, the teacher should move on and keep redirecting the Special Education student to their peer. This helps cut down on the student feeling only the teacher can help them. It encourages self-reliance.

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