5 Killer Tips for Peer Tutoring

I was relief teaching with a group of year 6 & 7 students and I had 2 hours to teach them how to find the discount price of an item on sale. Too easy I thought - but after 30 minutes I found my very straight forward lesson wasn't so straight forward. Some kids were struggling and some kids were flying through it.

As a relief teacher - Don't you HATE that!

I have used peer tutoring before, even when working full time, and as a teaching strategy I love it. This is a perfect situation to employ this strategy.

There are two aspects of learning - breadth and depth.

Think of depth in terms of kids going through the year levels in a straight line. They pass (sometimes) and move up to the next year level (usually). For example - kids learn how to add one digit and then two digits and then three digits and so on. Straight Line.

Breadth is the intensity of knowledge. This is superior knowledge developed when kids understand the processes and the concepts of an activity. They can internalise the learning and apply it to any situation. But it is hard to allow these kids to develop breadth in their learning. (I know all departments are talking about differentiating learning - but they don't know how hard that can be. I doubt the decision makers understand the intricacies of day to teaching let alone relief teaching - but that's another story)

Any way - back to Peer Tutoring. This is the PERFECT vehicle for developing breadth of learning.

Let's face it, if you REALLY want to understand a concept - TEACH IT!

And that is the basis of peer tutoring.

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