Reflection: Classroom Setup Mastery Learning in Science: Students as Teachers - Section 1: Engage


In my classroom, Mastery Learning is called the "Master Tutor Project". Students need to understand and master the concepts presented in class, and this strategy is highly effective if set up in advance. Here are some tips for set up:

1) By reviewing assessment data decide what you want to reassess. I prefer to have one to two topics that need reassessment because it can be possible to set up tutoring groups where each student acts as a tutor for the other. Any topic works, but I've found that students acting as tutors have better success on skills concepts that rely less on difficult conceptual understanding. With practice throughout the year, students gain confidence in their teaching skills and can be reliable tutors of concepts of increasing complexity.

2) Make copies of the Master Tutor Script. Every tutor will need one copy for each topic and each student they help.

3) Set up tutoring groups. As shown in the Master Tutor Partner Setup, I used highlighters to identify students who were not proficient in a particular topic. I paired them with another student who could act as a tutor expert. During this process, I accounted for personality type, friendships, learning style, level of perseverance, gender and level of teaching/learning aptitude. This sounds complicated, but it only took about 10 minutes per class to develop the tutoring groups.

4) Have resources ready. For example, I had printouts of the assessment results, the original assessment, relearning activities and new assessments ready to go. These can be provided as paper copies or by using an application like Blendspace. For an example of a Blendspace resource, visit: Controlled Experiments: Identifying Parts of an Experiment.

5) Set up the room where students have dedicated space to spread out their resources. Maintaining a quiet work environment contributes directly to the efficacy of the Master Tutor Project, so help students to work quietly. A quiet environment can be helped by the way tutoring groups are set up in Step 3 above.

  Classroom Setup: How to Set Up Mastery Learning
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Mastery Learning in Science: Students as Teachers

Unit 2: Engaging 21st Century Scientists
Lesson 8 of 12

Objective: SWBAT master scientific concepts by acting as a tutor or student.

Big Idea: Students teach each other in order to encourage mastery of the standards.

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  50 minutes
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