Thursday, November 8, 2012

Near-Peers are a valuable resource for learners

It is clear to me now that schools are great places to witness teaching.  I'm not sure about how much learning takes place.

I'm currently teaching a group of SAT students and the group can be defined as follows:

A: I need to hear it.

B:  Can you tell me about how to make a youtube channel and a blog?

C:  I just want to have lots of math problems

D: I need lots of math and verbal problems

E: Can you text me words but also give the definition --  not even by typing, you can just tell me while we read it together.   I need to hear the definition now.

F:  I watched your video but I still don't get it.  Can you go over it in class?  (What can I do?  It turns out that she had 50% of the steps memorized.  When she got up to show what she learned, another student named Jose asked a question that made it click for her.  Peers teaching peers, peers helping each other learn.)

G:  I like watching someone else (not you, Steve) explain it.

H:  I need prefixes, suffixes and I don't know what factoring is.

I:  I saw it on the youtube video and now I get it.

There are truly 9 lesson plans in that classroom, so it helped ENORMOUSLY when one of my former students (who is in her second year of university) came to visit and show her new website and facebook photos of a guy with lots of tattoos on his back.  

Please visit her website to give her some hits.  She showed the class how she created a dynamic website using


Time is a variable.  For many students, a weekly class works, but Thanksgiving is interrupting some schedules.  I promised to offer 5 weds. classes.  Three students can't make the Nov. 21 class so I'll offer a Dec. 5 to make up that class.
the dates for the next SAT classes are CENTRAL CAMPUS   NOV 13 and 27   building 5  room 110    SOUTH CAMPUS  Nov. 14 and 28  and Dec. 5   room 226 in BUILDING 72     If you come to class, I can demonstrate the use of sites google to monetize (we love making money) a website.  we can also set up a blog...

REMINDER:  Download the free ebook from Dan Pink

It becomes more and more clear (clearer and clearer) that 
a) teachers enjoy presenting information
b) learning often doesn't take place at the same time when the information is presented
c) learning is fixed after sleeping on the idea and after much practice

My mentor Matt Blazek points to the work of John Wooden
present the idea
demonstrate the idea (to show how it works)
check (group practice with guided point by point feedback)
practice (individual practice)

MATT's Project List (sample)

Wooden's laws of learning: namely, explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition

Barak Rosenshine's 17 principles is helpful, too.

I hope my students will look at these references.

Please also try this exercise


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