The PBIS World Book

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: