You’re the teacher now

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By Neil Jarrett

Giving children the chance to be the ‘teacher’ is an engaging strategy which motivates them with their learning.

“By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn.” – Latin proverb.

Child at whiteboard

How can the students take the role of teacher?

  • Play ‘spot the mistake’. We all make mistakes. And do you know what? Pupils love it when you do. It engages them and lets them see that everyone makes errors – not just children. This game is when you make slips whilst teaching and children have to signal when the mistake occurs. It works great as a fun starter. You can even challenge one of your children to come to the front of the class and the rest of the pupils must spot his/her blunders.
  • Give questions AND answers in maths. Children must find the errors and correct them (see the example resource below).
  • Use technology. Doing this certainly helps because of the ease of editing. I asked my children to ‘up-level’ poor quality writing in a Google Doc. I did this as a group activity and the results were amazing (see the activity below).
  • Give the class a story, littered with errors. They can mark it following the school marking policy. (See the activity sheet, ‘Correcting grammar’ )
  • Challenge children to get things wrong on purpose. When they are finished, the teacher has to find the mistakes. Following this, the children can check if the teacher found all of them. This motivates children to find out the correct answer first so they can see if the teacher is right.
  • Play ‘2 right and 1 wrong’. Children write facts or calculations and challenge their partner to spot which is incorrect.
  • Perform poorly in front of the class. For example, reading a poem or book in a dull, monotonous voice. Ask children to evaluate and then give tips to improve.
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