Harry Wong
Jan 2017
Vol 14 No 1

Stop Teaching! Let Kids Teach Themselves – Third in the “Two-Word” Series

By Bill Page

Third article of the “Two-Word” series of teaching strategies by Bill Page

Hello Bill, I implemented your January and February “two-word” teaching techniques. I am using both ideas, daily. I hope you have another one; I use ‘em and my kids love ‘em. HLR

Dear HL: I do, indeed, have another“two-worder”.  It’s a simple classroom strategy; the best I’ve ever used for both my kids and me.  And, it keeps improving with use. Try it. You’ll like it.


Two-Words That Can Refresh and Renew Every Classroom

1.  When a teacher wrote asking for a quickie “solution” to her need for a teaching refresher, I suggested that the number one problem in classroom teaching effectiveness at all levels and in all subjects is “lack of student dialogue” and recommended: “Shut Up and Teach” an article that gives two profound words, guaranteed to increase the efficacy of anyone’s teaching.

2.  Another teacher who said she found the “Shut Up and Teach” article to be “terrific, the kids love it” asked for another simple effective refresher idea.  My February article; “So Shush-up, Again! Kids Need Time to Think,” seemed to be perfect.  Meanwhile, I wrote about another great idea that fit the request for a simple, effective, teaching strategy, titled: “So, Shush Up Again! Kids Need Time to Think”.

3. This March’s article (below) in the two-word series is, “Quit Teaching, Kids Can Teach Themselves!”  This is a strategy so powerful that there is rarely a day I haven’t used it multiple times.  It is so great, when I become Czar of Education, I will require its use, daily in every class.

4. The “Two-Word Strategy Series” continues in coming issues. April’s  Two-Word Article is: “The Next Best Thing to Reality in the Classroom”.  Don’t miss April’s two-words that make reality a reality in everyone’s classroom.

If I were required to follow traditional bureaucratic procedures and permitted only one teaching strategy outside the constrained routine, I would implement the following two-word technique.

Quit Teaching, Kids Can Teach Themselves!

A well-known aphorism teachers understand and love is: “The best way to learn something is to teach it.  We all know that’s true for ourselves, but it is also true of our students.  I believe “teaching it” to be the best teaching gimmick I know. And, indubitably, there is one practical way of “teaching it” in every classroom every day.  It is the singular best teaching for students to use—a technique that has-it-all and does-it-all.

If the powers-that-be knew how simple, effective, and efficacious the technique is, they would make it mandatory. A technique this powerful couldn’t be new to you.  You know it, but do you use it?  When I tell you the two-word strategy, all you have to do is recall your own education and think of times you have used it. Then get ready to revive it and begin using it, now. Ready?

The “Pair-Share” Strategy

Known by names such as, Study Buddy, Pairing, and Learning Partners, the Pair-Share technique is absolutely, positively miraculous—students paired and encouraged to talk right in the middle of their lessons. Instead of the teacher talking,everyone, even the bottom kids, can talk using the pair-share strategy all at once with equal interest, satisfaction, and success.

Instead of one teacher talking while 26 students listening passively,maybe, there can be 13 teaching and13 actively listening and then taking turns in roles as teachers-learners.Any students taking inappropriate advantage of the idea can be “paired with the teacher” until they can be shown the value of the process.I sometimes have two or three as my partners.

It Works for Everyone in Class

Sharing on a one-to-one basis is an effective way to learn, practice, reinforce, memorize, consider, ponder, compare, clarify, and contrast what is going on in each partner’s head.  And there is no better way to use speaking, listening, discussing, reflecting, thinking, and getting immediate feedback than relating and responding as partners in the pairing method.  All students, the shy and unprepared along with all others, can use the ten-second to five-minute opportunity to share ideas and exchange thoughts, reflect,question, discuss, and consider information before the prospect of being called on or as a clarification and review technique.

Just Google It and Do it

Although the Pair-Share Strategy was an integral part of the learning done in the old one-room country schools, such as I attended, it has been around, somewhat formally, for at least twenty-five years and has been written about in hundreds of books. Teachers just need a reminder of how amazing and effective it is. [continued on page 2]



Pages: 1 2

Comment on this article...

Next Article...
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2012 and is filed under *ISSUES, Bill Page, March 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.9 No.3 March 2012

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Highest Rated School in NYC (Pt 2)
Collective efforts will produce greater results for students, and rankings reflect this.

Cover Story by Brad Johnson
Politics of Education
The media and many politicians seem to think that many teachers are lazy and incompetent....

»Stop Teaching! Let Kids Teach Themselves - Third in the "Two-Word" SeriesBill Page
»The Importance of Assertiveness in TeachersRobert Rose
»Centering - A Perfect Metaphor for the Interaction of Student, Teacher, Time, MaterialsTodd Nelson
»Helping the Sexually Abused ChildLeah Davies
»Facilitation Keys for Effective Classroom Management - Coaching the Urban EducatorAndrea Cleveland
»St. Patrick's Leprechaun Magic, Dr. Seuss, Read Across America Day Activities
»Make St. Patrick's Day Parade Shakers! Karen's PreK PageKaren Cox
»Favorite Math Manipulatives - Gr. 2
»Getting the Most Out of Young Writers
»14 Kindergarten Math Center Activities
»Education and Technology - Some Thoughts on Assessment: "Is this going to count for marks?"Craig Frehlich
»Marjan's 5 GREAT Sites for Busy EducatorsMarjan Glavac
»Botany in the News - Rich Resources for Teachers
»Positive Performing People: A Teacher's Behavior Management Technique for Learning Disabled StudentsSuzanne Vitanza
»Ideas to Increase Parent Involvement
»Josie Whitehead's Second Career: Writing Rhyming Poems for Teachers and Children
»New Book for Children Teaches 7 Continents: Amy's Travels
»Teaching About the Federal Reserve Bank
»How to Draw a LadybugTim Newlin
»Why Can't Johnny Read: The Distinction Between Vowel and Consonant Generalizations
»Is THIS What Teachers Do??
»The Four Leaf Clover and Educational SerendipityShama Noman
»Apple Seeds Quotes - A Month of Them!Barb Stutesman
»Today is... Special Events, Days in March
»Submit Your Teaching Tips, Articles, Photographs to Teachers.Net Gazette!
»PreK - 12 Printables
»March News & Notes
»Are Some School Administrators Afraid of Outstanding Teachers?

By State
AL   AK   AZ   AR   CA   CO   CT   DE   DC   FL   GA   HI   ID   IL   IN   IA   KS   KY   LA    ME   MD   MA   MI   MN   MS   MO   MT   NE   NV   NH   NJ   NM   NY   NC   ND   OH   OK   OR   PA   RI   SC   SD   TN   TX   UT   VT     VA   WA   WV   WI   WY