Tips to improve students coaching students

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Tips to improve students coaching students

Post by krisosthoff » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:19 pm

A question that is often asked by teachers is, "How can I get my students to improve at coaching each other?" One idea is to give more attention to Classbuilding and Teambuilding. These are two of the seven keys to cooperative learning and create a safe environment. When students build relationships, they genuinely care more about each other are more open to suggestions and help each other. Remember Classbuilding for fun is at least one time a week, and Teambuilding is at least twice a week.
Last edited by krisosthoff on Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sarah Ziebell
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Re: Tips to improve students coaching students

Post by Sarah Ziebell » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:26 pm

Another great tip to support students when they are coaching each other is to have coaching gambits posted. I used to create a T charts in my classroom for my students that identified what to do and what to say when they were coaching each other. I found that when my students needed to coach each other, they would look at the chart and select a gambit. For example, when working on addition at the primary level, a coaching gambit might say, "Let's count up from the bigger number." I found that the more I could support them by having gambits posted, the stronger their coaching was.

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Model coaching with your students

Post by rachel.treaster » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:35 pm

Model! Model! Model! When giving your students instructions in the classroom, modeling how to coach is more effective than just telling students. Dr. Kagan states that modeling is brain-based learning. When students watch you model coaching in the classroom, it engages their mirror neurons, making it easier for them to coach. Select a student to model the coaching process with you by asking the student to solve the problem incorrectly, so you can model appropriate coaching strategies.
Last edited by rachel.treaster on Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Remember "the 4 T's" (formerly known as "the 3 T's")

Post by heather.demao » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:36 pm

When modeling at the start of structure, show students HOW to coach by modeling "the 4 T's": Tip-Tip-TEACH-Try Again. If you are working on vocabulary during Quiz-Quiz-Trade, using the word in a sentence with context clues could be the first TIP. If a student still misses it, the second TIP could be a word with a similar meaning. Once a student doesn't have the answer after two TIPS, this is where we no longer just TELL the student the answer rather TEACH them the answer; this may include a technique the coaching student has to remember it (e.g. The word prime is shorter than the word composite, so a prime number has fewer factors: always two while composite is a longer word, so it has more factors: 3 or more.). Lastly, TRY AGAIN is where our students ask the quizzed student to answer the question with the just learned response. This can be challenging for students at first, so it is helpful if you can give them ideas for TIPS while you model with a student at the start of the structure. Ask the student you model with to make three mistakes so you can put the "4 T's" to work and ensure success in your classroom. Happy Coaching!!!

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Re: Tips to improve students coaching students

Post by melissasw » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:56 pm

To add onto Heather's tips for little ones.....point out any references you have in your classroom. If you are working on missing numbers, point out the number line, 100's chart, calendar, if there are reference points on their nameplates.
Another great tool to add to vocabulary is to add a kinesthetic motion to associate with each vocabulary word.
But the key to teaching your students to be great coaches is to Model, Model, Model like Rachel said and if you hear a student doing some awesome coaching during a structure, stop and share that great coaching with the class. Think of the P (positive) in PIES - Does one doing well help others? So if you share that great coaching tip with the entire class, the whole class benefits.