Last week, as most of my group were doing and exam in the main hall, I took the remaining part of my year 10 group outside to the playground to do a session on grammar; I thought the sun would make a nice pay off for having to do a whole ninety minutes on conjugation.
However, I was now faced with the dilemma of what I should do with the rest of the group for the next lesson? They still needed practice on grammar, and being as busy as I have been this week I didn’t want to create and entirely new lesson from scratch.
So I decided to try using the six students as student teachers for that lesson. I assigned them four students each and gave them the materials needed to teacher the lesson. Not only did the student teachers lead their groups well and give feedback by marking work and offering support, the other students responded well by completing all of the work, and behaviour was very good.
It is said that retention moves up to as much as 90% if students engage in participatory learning such as teaching others (Discussion groups and practice by doing comes at slightly less). This is compared to only 5% retention if a lecture style is used.
I have no doubt that the student teachers (who had a range of ability profiles) remembered the information taught in the previous lesson as they asked me very few questions regarding the material, and through effective AfL I could see that the other students performed very well.
So, how else could this be used? I am looking now to use this as a model for flipped learning for HATS (High Achieving and Talented Students). I will give them a different homework in which they learnt a concept and then teach it to small groups the following lesson.The teacher can then work in a supporting role. Don’t think they will all do the homework? Why not pair up HATS and so that one could lead the group if the other did not do the work.