Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Student Teachers

Maybe not the kind you're thinking of...

Mrs. Barr's been sick. Like, really sick. Lying in bed all weekend with a hundred and two degree temperature, tummy pain, headache, sore throat, rattling cough, watery eyes, aching joints sick.

Because of the disaster that was Friday, when I had to go home due to the dying, I went back yesterday. I couldn't stand to have someone else cover the class again. So, I rallied. The fever had broken, so I figured the kids were safe, but talking all day left my throat raw.

Today, I decided to take it easy and an idea born of necessity turned out to be something I'll use regularly in class in the future.

To save my voice, I had the kids teach. Multi-step word problems were introduced yesterday and I had planned to go over a practice set (from Front Row-are you using Front Row yet? If not, I strongly recommend you get on it!) with the kids. I was going to guide them through a few and then send them off on their merry way to complete the rest independently. Instead, the kids formed groups of three or four, were assigned one problem from the practice set, and spent 20 minutes solving the problem with their group and figuring out how to teach it to the rest of the kids. Then each of the seven groups taught the class.


Please excuse the blurry photo. It's a still from video. I recorded each presentation because I was so excited and wanted to share it with my teacher buddies at school!

I realize the idea is not super revolutionary, but I'd never tried it. I'm so happy I did!

My only slight disappointment was the learners' engagement. It's really hard to pay attention to someone who's trying to teach something they just learned themselves. The only thing I can come up with is to have the audience follow along with the work on the board on their personal whiteboards.

Otherwise, it was a great success and I just had to share it.

If anyone has any ideas for audience engagement, I'd love to hear them!