Successfully structuring a way for students to teach their peers can prove to be challenging. We directly asked teachers what they do to implement this process and for tips they could share.

When it comes to math, pick a problem that has multiple ways of being solved. Have students explain or show their way of solving the problem on the whiteboard. Keep going until there are no volunteers left. You can add in your own method if needed.

Another teacher recommends numbers talks, as this is a popular method in the common core era.

An English teacher encompasses a student-directed activity as part of their daily routine. They use a constant format where students’ complete cloze sentences using the weekly vocabulary.

Example: Vocabulary words: exasperated, tranquil

  1. Many people use yoga as an exercise that will calm their minds and make them feel _____. (Students should be able to complete with tranquil and explain that the context clue is calm.)
  2. I felt _______ after I argued with my best friend and she unfriended me on Snapchat. (Students should be able to complete with exasperated and explain that the context of an argument would make a person upset or exasperated.)

Write five new sentences each day—one for each word.

After going through the process and setting up expectations for a few weeks, then ask for volunteers. One student pulls a popsicle stick to ensure randomization and then asks a selected student to read the sentence with the correct vocabulary word. Then, ask them to justify their answer by asking “how do you know?” Consider adding an incentive to encourage participants.

Another recommendation is to give your students the material and allow them to come up with a creative way to present it. Count an outstanding presentation as extra credit and allow students that need a grade boost to volunteer.

What other methods do you use to make student-led lesson plans a success? Share with us in the comments section!