Tch Tips: Is Peer Teaching on Your Classroom Menu?

Tch tips

There’s no doubt that expectations for student achievement have increased exponentially over the past two decades. To help students meet these expectations, schools have shifted to more evidence-based strategies, like peer teaching.

Peer teaching isn’t a single strategy — it is a full menu of learning techniques that can enhance student achievement, content knowledge, and student engagement. However, peer teaching can also be problematic for teachers, because employing this particular method means that students will be teaching each other.

You might be thinking…

  • My students aren’t experts. How can they teach this content to one another?
  • What if they teach and learn the information incorrectly? Even if they do get it right, will the learning be superficial?
  • What if parents bristle at the idea of students learning from students when the stakes are so high for student assessment?
  • What about my professional responsibility? I’m the teacher, after all. Isn’t teaching my job?

All of these are valid concerns and worthy of some debate. But equally valid is the wealth of research that shows peer teaching works.

Are you ready to explore peer teaching in your classroom?

Whether you’re ready for just a taste or a full menu of strategies, we’ve got something for you to try!
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Building a Strong Learning Community for Newcomer ELLs

engaging newcomers in language and content

We know that students benefit from strong social-emotional support, and a big part of that is being included in the school community. In part two of our series Engaging Newcomers in Language & Content, we go back to ENLACE Academy, a school-within-a-school focused on supporting the academic and social-emotional needs of newcomer English Language Learners.

ENLACE aims to create an environment in which all students feel known and are able to build strong relationships with each other and with at least one adult. Through restorative practices, socio-emotional learning activities, and family engagement, students build strong communities and support each other as they adjust to a new school environment.

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Engaging Newcomers in Language and Content

engaging newcomers in language and content

As of today, there are nearly 5 million English Language Learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools, and ELLs are the fastest growing student population in the country. When these students enter school — especially in the secondary grades — they face the double challenge of learning a new language while simultaneously learning grade-level content in that language.

How can schools create learning environments designed to support these needs and accelerate learning so ELL students have a level playing field with their English-speaking peers?

In this new video series, Engaging Newcomers in Language and Content, we get to see newcomer ELL education in action by visiting Lawrence, Massachusetts, a city with a deep immigrant history and the home of the ENLACE Academystudents shaking hands. ENLACE, which stands for Engaging Newcomers in Language and Content Education, is an academy within Lawrence High School. Its mission is providing newcomer English learners with the academic and linguistic foundation and socio-emotional supports that will allow them to transition successfully and quickly into the mainstream high school environment, on track to pursue a college or career of their choice.

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Math in Early Childhood: 6 Strategies for Teaching Math Throughout the Day

Building on Young Children's Mathematical Thinking

Hour-long lessons? Asking students to work quietly at their desks? Not in early childhood!

Effective preschool teachers have perfected the art of infusing learning throughout their day so students can learn in continuous, small chunks while engaging in hands-on activities. Our latest video series, created in partnership with Development and Research in Early Math Education (DREME), features six engaging lessons that build on young children’s mathematical thinking. These videos do an amazing job at getting us to rethink what is possible in early childhood math.

While we were filming these lessons, we got a chance to capture six strategies that can be used to teach math throughout the day. These strategies get kids moving, connecting, and building understanding. As you watch, think about which strategies you would like to adapt for use in your classroom.

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Tch Tips: Five Strategies to Assess Young Students’ Learning

Tch tips

When we think of assessment, we often think about tests. But good assessment is much more than tests — it’s a chance to discover what our students understand so that we can help them learn and grow.

Just like with everything else, assessment looks a little different for young students. Our squirrelliest little ones are not likely to sit down for many formal assessments, so the majority of them may be informal. Most of the time, students’ learning can be assessed without them even realizing it. But getting students engaged in the assessment process can be powerful as well.

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Building on Young Children’s Mathematical Thinking

Building on Young Children's Mathematical Thinking Blog Header

Children, even the very young, engage with the world in mathematically-rich ways. As researchers and professional development facilitators in mathematics education and early childhood education, we have the privilege and joy of spending time in early childhood settings and engaging with those who teach our youngest students.

Through our collaborations with early childhood educators, we get to learn how teachers leverage both formal and informal classroom spaces to spark mathematical engagement, listen to children’s mathematical thinking, and enrich their budding mathematical ideas. Our partnership with Teaching Channel helped us to capture some of the complex work of learning and teaching in early childhood classrooms.

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Tch Tips: Engaging Students in Socratic Seminars

Tch tips

Ready to teach like Socrates? We’ve got the videos to show you just how to do it!

In its simplest form, a Socratic Seminar is a structured conversation that students facilitate through open-ended questioning, listening carefully to one another, sharing their thoughts, and making meaning together. Traditionally, the seminar focuses on a text or set of texts, but there are many variations. The main idea is that the teacher is off-stage, and it’s the student inquiry that leads the show.

Whether you’re just starting out with these seminars or a full-fledged expert, there’s always something to be learned by watching how others do it. Some of our most popular Teaching Channel videos are of Socratic Seminars for that very reason! Here are four tips you can learn from watching these videos.

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Five Strategies to Add to Your Coaching Toolbox

Tch Deep Dives: Coaching

Whether you’re teaching or coaching, it’s easy to get into a rut. But these five videos are here to help! Clocking in at just five minutes each, these videos will expand your ideas about what coaching can be and push you to try new strategies.

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