Pairs , please

partner workI like to ensure my students are partners in learning. They like to ensure they are partners! We were working with the iPads and thinking about our next project. I always want them to have the capacity to work as individuals and to be able to survive as individuals. My year 8s see it differently. They want to work as pairs. It may well have been their training through primary school which  means they are reluctant to abandon  partners or it might just be that’s how they want to work. So I decided they could persuade me there would be more value in learning as pairs than in pursuing this particular project as an individual learner. One student put their hand up.

” Do you have an iPad , please?”
” We are not working with the iPads today.”
” Oh, you said we could come up with ideas to persuade you to let us work as pairs on our research assignment.”
” Well, you can just tell me that.”
“No, if we write it on the iPad we can be very quick and you’ll have our ideas in front of you to think about them. We’ll email you the screenshot of our work in 10 minutes.”

Now that’s what I like. Students who have learned to negotiate, who can articulate exactly what they want to do and who can see that technology will streamline the process if they use the right tool for the job.

The two of them met their goals. I had the screenshot and  the next lesson I could spend another 10 minutes with the whole class looking at the advantages of pairs and deciding what our rules for the research project would be.

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is the technology loop which really works.


2 Responses

  1. A great example of teaching and learning real life skills in the Language classroom.


    • It’s the influence of the work I am doing on ACARA Personal and Social Capability. We have done the personal ones in class and are about to do the social ones this week. It’s about enabling them as learners and teaching them how to create a positive pathway so it was about life skills!


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