Strategies for having older students teach younger ones, shared by a teacher at a high school career academy for future teachers.
I’m the lead teacher of a high school Academy of Education—the students in my class are learning about becoming educators themselves. These students have a unique opportunity: They get to work with the children at our on-campus preschool, so they have a chance to practice teaching without leaving the building.
I use the state preschool curriculum to help my students fill in gaps in their own learning—they have shown improvement in reading, for example, after reviewing and teaching vowel-pattern rules to the children. And they’ve come to understand things like evaporation and condensation better after teaching a preschool lesson on rainfall.
I’ve found that some of my students—especially those with financial need, special learning needs, or language barriers—have gaps in their understanding of our course content. And many of these students are being exposed for the first time to technological experiences like coding when they’re asked to include them in lesson plans for the preschool children.
This school year, as part of our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) initiative, my students created lessons to introduce the preschool children to coding. We had laptops and tablets, but I quickly realized that they didn’t hold the attention of the children very long. We needed to work with technology that was concrete and hands-on.
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