How to Get Students Ready to Learn Through Teaching
A teacher at a high school career academy shared strategies for having older students teach younger students.
The students in my class are learning about becoming educators themselves as I lead a high school Academy of Education. This is a one-of-a-kind chance for these students: They have the opportunity to work with the children at our on-campus preschool, allowing them to practice teaching without having to leave the building.
I use the state preschool curriculum to help my students fill in the gaps in their own education. For instance, after reviewing and teaching the children vowel-pattern rules, they have improved in reading. Teaching a preschool lesson on rainfall has also helped them gain a better understanding of concepts like evaporation and condensation.
I’ve noticed that some of my students, particularly those with special needs, language barriers, or financial constraints, don’t fully comprehend the material covered in our classes. When these students are asked to include technological experiences like coding in lesson plans for preschoolers, many of them are doing so for the first time.
My students created lessons this school year to introduce preschoolers to coding as part of our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) initiative. We had tablets and laptops, but I quickly realized that neither could keep the kids’ attention for very long. We needed to use technology that was practical and user-friendly.
In the end, we taught high school and preschool students about coding with Kibo robots rather than laptops. Even though these coding robots are made for kids between the ages of 4 and 7, high school students also learned basic coding skills by programming them in order to teach younger children. For teens, the robots were both the subject and the tool of learning and teaching.
Coding can be complicated and hard to understand, but the high school students were confident that they could teach the kids how to program robots to dance, spin, and talk after some professional development with the robot’s creators.
My thoughts regarding the advantages of teaching as a means of learning were bolstered as I watched the preschool and high school students acquire coding and other skills. My students are learning about how they learn themselves, which may help them become better students and, ultimately, teachers. They are motivated to learn by the purpose of their education.
INCLUDING LEARNING IN YOUR CLASS BY TEACHING
Identify the challenging complex skills your students lack: Students’ difficulties with reading comprehension, problem solving, or confidence may vary depending on the subject matter you teach.
Provide your students with additional students: Collaborate with a lower-grade teacher to work on a skill you want your students to work on. Tell them about it and ask if they can help your colleague’s students.
Inform your students that they will be working with a group of lower-level students who are having trouble with one or more of the skills you have identified. Create a variety of strategies and activities for the younger students as a class. This procedure is crucial because one of the most challenging aspects of teaching is understanding how to scaffold both simple and complex concepts. When I show my students how to do this, they learn a lot because looking at learning strategies and tools with the intention of teaching others can really help them see how useful and valuable they are.
Facilitate professional growth: After giving your students a goal, show them how to teach the steps and fundamental concepts that younger students need to understand, as well as how to scaffold skills. Practicing or modeling a variety of skills can be done well by reading books for children.
For example, I show my understudies perspective utilizing the kids’ book The Genuine Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, which large numbers of them battle to fathom.
Make sure to ask inquiries such as: What information do you require to learn this? What can you do with this knowledge once you understand it? As a student, how do you interpret this?
Set them an example: A lesson plan template or rubric should be provided to students to explain your expectations for their lesson. It ought to be straightforward at first: a set of steps, a goal, a list of materials, and an evaluation
Take on the role of the side guide: Encourage students to think and act, but you and your coworker shouldn’t interfere much during the teaching process because your students will learn from both successful and unsuccessful outcomes.
Debrief and reflect: It is critical that your students reflect on their experience in writing after teaching their lesson to the younger students. Then, as a group, talk about the entire experience from start to finish. Ask students to think back on the process and talk about what they learned about themselves and their own learning.
In this learning process, this is the most important step. Ask your students to consider the teaching process from the perspective of a student learning, thinking about how breaking down skills into steps and choosing the right learning strategies help a student comprehend a concept. Additionally, you can inquire about their self-regulation abilities and the ways in which planning, goal setting, and overall assessment aid in the execution of a plan.
Last but not least, students can consider the ways in which the material they acquired through professional development prepared them to teach the lesson. Students who might otherwise put child development concepts on hold are compelled to delve deeper into the material by this connection.