Wednesday, July 24, 2013

P.A.L.S.

Grad school class is over for the summer, but I am working on using a great article we read to help with intervention time. It was an article about peer assisted learning strategies (P.A.L.S.). You can read the article here for yourself, but basically you level your kids high to low and split the class in half. Then, you take the top student from the top half and the top student from the bottom half and they are partners. So in a class of 22 kids #1 and #11 would be partners, #2 and #12 and on down. I love this idea because your highs aren't with your lowest, and you lowest are not grouped together either. The system would also not easily be figured out by the kids, so you would not have a lot of dumb group, smart group comments. In the student partners there is a coach and student. The coach reads a script provided by the teacher that steps the student through a process to solve a specific type of problem (for example converting fractions to decimals). They read the script for each question on the paper, and the student follows the step to solve each problem. Students switch roles and the coach becomes the student and the student the coach. Ideally, you would have your lower student be the coach first. This way they are reading the process and seeing a set of problems worked out by the higher student before they solve a set of problems. Intervention time is about 30 minutes in my school and very challenging at the 6th grade level. On our team of 4 teachers we switch kids for team time every week. I am hoping that I can impliment this in the classroom and it will give students some additional one on one practice in a smaller setting. It makes each student actively participate in the lesson as well, which can be hard when there are 30 kids in the room.


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