Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Passing on the Torch

      One of my greatest joys as a teacher is to see my students take something we have taught them or modeled for them and do it all on their own.  An even better version of this is when students take something they have learned from us and in turn use it to bless their fellow students.  Our students have done this in two ways.  

     First of all, when the test grades were not all that great, we began making them study guides.  We would type up the words or concepts that we expected them to know, give them the paper, and expect them to fill in the definitions, concepts, etc.  Now we have a few of our older students typing study guides for their own classes, or the classes a few grades below, making copies of them, and passing them out to their fellow students. 

     Another way we are “passing on the torch” is by quizzing the students.  Again, when the test grades were not up-to-par we realized that some of them did not know how to study properly.  So, we made the study guides, had the students fill them out, and then we quizzed them.  At first they looked at their guides.  Next, they had to put them away.  Then we asked them to give a definition for a word, and last we gave the definition and they had to give us the word.  I call this studying “forward and backwards”.  

     After awhile they began to quiz each other.  Now I try and set aside time before every test for not only a teacher-led oral quiz, but also a student-led quizzing session where the students quiz each other.  They have begun asking if they can quiz each other when all of their other work is done.  This is a wonderful form of positive peer pressure, edifying encouragement, and practicing of good study habits that strengthens their grades, their relationships, and their school.   
     It is also nice when my husband has to go to town for a doctor's appointment for one of our children, and I have two or more of the older male students who are very capable of leading morning devotions and singing.  The torch is being passed!