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Peer Tutoring

Peer Tutoring

Why should I do it:

  • Creates a safer and less embarrassing and intimidating setting and climate for students to ask questions, express misunderstandings, etc
  • Allows students more opportunities for assistance
  • Increases academic and behavioral support
  • Provides frequent and constant redirection and refocusing
  • Provides quicker feedback and attention
  • Gives students one on one help and attention
  • Helps students to get to know other students and make friends and trusted relationships
  • Increases student trust and rapport
  • Increases classroom teaching efficiency
  • Helps to free up the teacher to instruct and help other students

When should I do it:

  • When a student is inattentive and unfocused
  • When a student needs frequent one on one help
  • When a student needs directions repeated a lot and concepts reviewed multiple times and ways
  • When a student is apprehensive to ask questions or for help
  • When a student gets overwhelmed and frustrated
  • When a student needs extra help starting assignments
  • When a student asks frequent questions and needs frequent clarification

How do I do it:

  • Peer tutoring may be done as a structured and routine procedure or on an as needed basis, depending on the students needs and peer tutors
  • Peer tutors should be those students that are capable of working with others well and who grasp the concepts and ideas well enough to explain to others
  • Peer tutors should be given some basic ground rules before being allowed to serve as peer tutors, like:
    • Don’t do all the work for the student
    • Keep the focus on the work/assignment
    • Avoid arguments and debates
    • Peer tutors should have the student they are helping repeat directions and questions back to clarify understanding
    • Tutors should use active listening skills
    • Avoid name calling and utilize positive remarks and praise
    • Tutors should help model behaviors like listening, raising hand for help, asking questions for clarification from the teacher, etc
    • Disengaging from students who refuse to focus on the work or become too confrontational
  • Peer tutors may be assigned or chosen by students
  • Peer tutors may rotate from one student to another or remain with one student for a longer period, for example a card marking
  • Teachers should always ensure the peer tutors have grasped the concepts themselves before moving on to help others
  • Peer tutors may be same age/grade or older
  • Teachers can have peer tutoring daily, weekly, monthly, or as needed, etc
  • Peer tutors may work with more than one student at a time, but should not work with larger groups

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)

Footnotes:

  1. The Access Center: Improving Outcomes for All Students K8. USING PEER TUTORING TO FACILITATE ACCESS. [http://www.k8accesscenter.org/training_resources/documents/PeerTutoringFinal.pdf].
  2. Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice. Classwide Peer Tutoring. [http://cecp.air.org/familybriefs/docs/PeerTutoring.pdf].
  3. The Pennsylvania State University. Peer Tutoring. [http://tutorials.istudy.psu.edu/peertutoring/].
  4. The University of Minnesota. Peer Tutoring… a proactive intervention for the classroom. [http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ceed/publications/tipsheets/preschoolbehavior/peertutor.pdf].
  5. Wright, J. (2004). Kids as Reading Helpers: A Peer Tutor Training Manual. [http://www.jimwrightonline.com/pdfdocs/prtutor/peerTutorManual.pdf].
  6. Project REACH. PEER TUTORING: STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION. [http://www.lehigh.edu/projectreach/teachers/peer_tutoring/peer_tutoring_step_1.htm].
  7. The Elementary and Middle Schools Technical Assistance Center (EMSTAC). Programs and Strategies for Positive Behavior: School-Wide Programs & Strategies: Peer Tutoring. [http://www.emstac.org/registered/topics/posbehavior/schoolwide/peer.htm].
  8. Wright, J. (2002). Lesson 1: Peer Tutoring & Appropriate Behaviors. [http://www.jimwrightonline.com/pdfdocs/prtutor/prtutor_lesson1.pdf].
  9. Avery, N. C. (2009). How to promote cooperative learning in elementary school classrooms. [http://www.helium.com/items/1609203-promote-cooperative-learning-in-the-classroom].