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Teaching Strategy Idea: Each One, Teach One

One teaching strategy that I found useful in just about every FACS course I taught is something  I call “Each One, Teach One.”  It was a strategy that involved teaching students to become “experts” and to share the information with their classmates. This promoted their own learning, self-esteem and helped them to be a community contributor to the classroom. I could refer students who needed help to their peer “expert.” It was great for keeping the tempo of learning in the classroom as I could help the student who was ready for help first and then that student could teach the next student who needed help.

This strategy was valuable in a number of ways.  It freed me up during the class to help other students on other tasks and questions, rather than repeating the same information over to different students.

It was also a great strategy to use if I needed to get the new information to the class but didn’t have the class time to teach the entire class at once. For example, if on a foods lab day, students were going to have a lime garnish on their glass of ice water, I would announce at the beginning of class that in 10 minutes I would need one member from each lab group to come to the demonstration table to watch a quick demonstration on making a lime garnish. The lab would get underway and I would announce the mini demonstration. A small number of students would come to view the demonstration and then go back to their groups to show them how to make the garnish when their groups were ready. Everyone would learn, but it didn’t take away time in the lab for the entire class.

Another way I used this strategy quite a bit  is when I was teaching sewing. If students had just learned how to sew a seam, I would tell the class that when the first person is done with their seam to meet me at the ironing board and I would come and show them how to press the seam open with the iron. Afterwards, their job was to teach the next person in line how to press the seam open. This kept the class moving and once that student had taught the person behind them in line, they could move to their next task. This also proved beneficial for students (especially seventh graders!) to feel confident in asking their peers for help rather than wanting all of their help from me.

Try it out and see if this strategy works for you and your students. I think you will really enjoy it. Do you have strategies that you have developed that would be useful to your FACS colleagues? Be sure to blog about them or comment below and let others learn from you! Each one, teach one!

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