Peer Tutoring

Collaborative Learning Group, Peer Editors, Peer Supports

Peer tutoring is having peers actively involved with teaching each other and reinforcing learning of academic skills. With peer tutoring, the pairs are set up such that tutors serve as both the tutor and tutee. Peer tutoring could be expanded to include peer groups such as literature circles or discussion groups. Peer tutoring works well in most academic subjects.

Implementation Tips

Routine Use
Incorporate peer tutoring as part of the classroom structure so students understand the process and have multiple opportunities for engagement. Once students understand the process, they will become more involved in the overall mastery of academic content.
Alternate Student Pairings
Remember to alternate peer-tutoring and collaborative-learning groups. Students may not want to be in the same group for long periods of time and may learn more by interacting with other students.
Making Student Pairings
Consider students' ability levels and talents when pairing. A quiet student who is excellent at math might work well with a gregarious student who has trouble multiplying. One student practices communicating knowledge to another who communicates well but struggles with the content. Both students benefit from the interaction and feel positive about their contributions.


Middle School Math
In middle school math class, students are paired up to solve mathematical problems using a problem solving checklist. 1. Each student alternates working on solving problems. 2. One student (tutor) reads the problem-solving checklist step by step as the other student (tutee) works on solving the problem. 3. The student who is reading the checklist encourages the problem solver and provides reminders for the steps if the student needs support with solving the problem. 4. As the problem solver (tutee) finishes each step the tutor checks each step. 5. Once all the steps are completed, the students then switch roles. The student who has been tutor becomes the problem solver. 6. At the end of the practice session both students practice rehearsing the steps necessary to eventually solve the problem by memory.
Reading Partners
Students are paired to practice reading aloud and summarizing as they are reading the text. After one student has read, the other student asks the student who was reading questions about the text such as “What was the most important detail about what you read?” or “What happened in this part of the story?” As students practice out loud, they learn how to practice these comprehension strategies and can apply these strategies when reading independently.
Literature Circles
While reading a novel in 8th grade literature class, the teacher sets up collaborative learning groups such as a literature circle. Within the group, each student has a role in the discussion groups such as: 1. Facilitator/Director - leads group discussion, asks questions which engage members to think critically and analyzes elements of the story 2. Super Selector - outlines key words and defines words that are pertinent to the plot to the story then shares these findings with the group 3. Idea Investigator - identifies the main points and summarizes what has been read then provides a brief summary to the group about what they have read 4. Image Illustrator - captures images and pictures as they read, creates an image and shares this with members of the group and conveys how this image relates to the story

Related Strategies