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Extensive use of bilingual/academic pairs or groups throughout the entire lesson 

LKSD Best Practice #19

Hallmark traits of this BP:

  • Pairing students H/M, M/L

  • Students are asked to share what their partner said in pair/share opportunities

  • Students are asked to explain their rationale for answers derived from pair/share activities

  • Students provide "guided practice" to each other

  • Pairs support each other; teacher maintains role of facilitator

Focus Friday: August 18, 2023

Pairing is the #1 thing we need to aim for because it directly ties into and influences all the Best Practices.

Key Features of Pairs

Paired work should begin the first year of school and continue through the end of high school. Assigned pairs should be together for 4 weeks (maximum 6 weeks). If pairs are together for too long they get comfortable with each other and won’t be willing to work with anyone else. 

Students should be in pairs all day except during:

  • assessments

  • independent practice

  • bathroom breaks

Pairs are essential...

  • ​To foster student centered classrooms

  • To promote academic rigor

  • To support vocabulary development

  • To enhance the acceleration of below and grade-level students

  • To aid in the retention of acquired knowledge

  • To cover more academic material, more quickly 

When working in pairs is the norm, students become inherently “trained” in who to ask for help. 

When the teacher acts as facilitator, they become the LAST level of help during academic pairs learning. In addition, when students turn to their peers, it frees up the teacher to circle the room more efficiently. 

REMEMBER: the teacher decides the pairing assignments. Pairs are determined based on three criteria:

  1. academic skill,

  2. language proficiency, and

  3. ​personality.

During paired work, students are:

  • NOT allowed to copy from their partner

  • NOT allowed to do their partner's work for them

When to use trios...

  • When there's an odd number of students in the class

  • A student is absent

  • You have a student with a "significant need" 

Using pairs is important for more than just academics.

When students work in pairs they engage in what's called cross-brain pollination. This means they're influencing each other to learn:

  1. social cues

  2. creative thinking

  3. other personalities

  4. how to interpret and exchange humor 

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