Last term, my learners took it in turns to plan seminars and they became increasingly confident with this as they wrote challenging questions and imagined new ways of engaging their peers.
This term, I decided to group the learners so that those of them struggling with their confidence could work more interdependently and so that they could develop their collaborative working skills. The learners planned (completely independently of me) and then delivered activities as part of a review of Act 1 of All My Sons. All I had to do was check their plans and ask questions of their ideas.
This group used this presentation. After each video, learners were invited to create drawings to match the themes they felt were visible in the scenes they had watched. This group decided to give the learners the choice of using the Paper 53 app or paper and pens! After each drawing had been made, the learners were invited to discuss their thoughts and share with others.
This group ran a seminar on Chris and mother. They moved away from asking the questions intended- with some paired and some whole class and just left them open to the group. Some of the members of the group began to direct the questions around the room in order to involve all individuals in the class. This enabled learners to grow in confidence and increase their contributions.
This group also decided to ask questions but these were slightly more accomplished than what group 2 had achieved as they had a list of planned questions and had decided how they would ask them, when the book would be used and when learners would need to put their hands up to respond.
So, the activities above were reasonably well planned- very carefully planned in some cases. Some learners executed and facilitated their activities more effectively than others. It was great to let them work freely of me but my role in the classroom is to ensure that their learning is maximised. This won’t NECESSARILY be achieved unless I get more involved during the learner-lead lessons.
We’ll be doing more delivery as part of an Act 2 Review and I’ll be supporting their planning of learning by:
- Requesting a list of planned questions in advance along with questioning methods
- Using cards during the lesson to promote certain behaviours: more questioning/more directed questions/re-frame your instructions etc…I will hold this up as and when they’re needed
- Promote closer explorations of language using how and why questions
- Promote more writing (rather than learners just being required to verbalise their responses)
Why do I think peer teaching is so important?
- It CAN develop learners’ metacognition because they’re thinking about their (and their peers’) learning in a totally new way
- It CAN make learning more enjoyable and memorable (because it isn’t me again!)
- It CAN develop their independent and creative thinking and action
- It CAN develop their collaborative working skills
However- my role is to turn ‘CAN’ into ‘DOES’ and I must try harder.
Here are their creations made using the Paper 53 App (and one learner on paper):