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NOTE: Most essays on this site represent original theoretical work. If you find these articles interesting, inspiring or helpful, please let me know. If you refer to them, please give me and this website credit. In addition, links back to this page in blogs or from other sites are always appreciated!
Hero For Christ
Peer-Mentoring Instructional Method
©2000-2007 Christopher Sunami, all rights reserved.
This is a method I developed for use when you have a large group of students of varying abilities and aptitudes. It maximizes the individualized attention you can give each student, even with a minimal teaching staff. I developed it partly during my time as a special education teacher, and it is particularly well-suited for the challenges of the special education environment. It is also, however, effective for use with students without disabilities.
I've used this with great success several times inside and outside classroom settings. It has produced the most successes in relationship to mathematics and other fields with well-defined, well-ordered objectives. I would suggest it primarily for use in mathematics (all levels), and for beginning art, music, physical education and English.
PLEASE NOTE: This method is not meant or suited for advanced, creative or conceptual work. It is meant solely to build solid foundations for advanced work in an efficient, effective, and student-empowering manner.
HUMAN RESOURCES NEEDED:One highly-trained lead teacher, and, if possible, one or two trained assistants.
PHASE ONE: Initial EvaluationWhen each student enters your program, evaluate them for mastery of the skills on your list. Create a file folder for each student, including:
PHASE TWO: AssignmentDivide the students into three loose groupings:
PHASE THREE: InstructionThe lead teacher does several different types of instruction:
When the lead teacher is working with one group, then the other two groups should be matched up, one-on-one with the higher group helping the lower group with warm-ups, skill drills, or memorizations. Ideally, this will take place under the supervision of the assistants, if applicable. Each peer-mentor should read the file of the student he or she is helping to make sure that student is working at the right level, or on the appropriate objectives.
PHASE FOUR: Reevaluation, demonstration, and recognitionAll students should be frequently reevaluated (once a week or every two weeks) for mastery of the skill levels where they are currently working. If a student masters a skill, a note should be placed in their file, and they should be moved to the next skill level, as well as to the next higher group, if appropriate.
Students should also be given frequent opportunities to demonstrate their new skills publicly, and to be recognized for achievements, both personal, and on behalf of students they have helped mentor.
In addition, the groupings should be frequently defined to make sure that the majority of the students are always in the Median group. When the majority of students have mastered all the skills on the initial list, this system is no longer appropriate, and a new one should be used, at least for the students who have graduated from the system (although they can still serve as peer mentors or coaches).
All visitors to this website ( http://kitoba.com ) are welcome to make use of this system. Please credit this site and the author, and please send us feedback on how the program worked for you, and/or suggestions for improvements.
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