Whereas education was once thought of as primarily a process of transmission (i.e.,
pouring knowledge into empty vessels), a growing body of research has made it clear
that the overall quality of teaching and learning is improved when students have
ample opportunities to clarify, question, apply, and consolidate new knowledge. There
are many number of teaching strategies that can be employed to actively engage
students in the learning process, including group discussions, problem solving, case
studies, role plays, journal writing, and structured learning groups. The benefits to
using such activities are many. They include improved critical thinking skills,
increased retention and transfer of new information, increased motivation, and
improved interpersonal skills.
As the saying goes……….
WHAT I HEAR, I FORGET; WHAT I SEE, I REMEMBER
WHAT I DO, I UNDERSTAND
Pair Learning is a research based learning strategy (done by several group of educators) that started during the 70’s in
their study on how to improve students skills particularly in Mathematics, then later on, applied the pattern on different core
skills or subject. Part of it was originally adopted from the Cooperative way of learning, then the Active way of learning
wherein students should not just be a listener.
According to research, having students work in pairs on a task is a low-risk strategy which virtually ensures close to 100 percent
participation in classes of any size. It’s also a version of a class wide peer tutoring where teachers evaluate and identify students who
need help in specific skills and determine the most appropriate students in class to assists the others with those skills. The students are
paired somewhat like a coach and a player but rotate roles as activities change and students are required to work on a variety of skills.
This kind of learning is designed to complement, not to replace, the existing curriculum by providing opportunities for students to
practice what the teacher has taught. Research supports that the use of pairs in the classroom provides more focus on individual
student needs rather than a teacher-directed activity that may address the needs of a few students but not be able to meet the needs
of all the students. It is not a universal remedy for all of our problems in our learning system, but it is a step toward helping students
learn more in a manner they enjoy, and instead of calling themselves as partners, in modern times they call each other as “buddies”. The
procedures can be modify for various subject matters and for any class size.
Benefits attributed to this kind of learning include:
Activity involves all students in tasks they can perform successfully.
Increases every student opportunity to read and practice basic skills.
It motivates student to do better in reading and math.
Expands instructional resources in the classroom
It provides positive and productive interaction among students.
It creates an opportunity for lower functioning students to assume an integral role in valued activity.
Allows students with disabilities to spend more time in least restrictive environment and increases their access to the general education curriculum.
Helps teachers accommodate academic diversity.
Accelerates student achievement in reading and in math.
Affordable and can be easily implemented.
Found to be an enjoyable activity by both teachers and students.
General Guidelines for Paired Activities
Don't use the same activities too often. Once per week per activity is a reasonable use.
Vary the accountability by occasionally having students turn in the work. Read a sample then comment specifically on it.
Have students occasionally pair up with the student behind them, since friends often sit side by side.
Request students vary their seating arrangements to increase their chances to work with different people.
Reflect some of the informal activities in the formal evaluations in some way. For example, include a short essay question that was used in a
Be candid with the students as to why you are asking them to do these things. Explain attention span, the need for engaging material
individually and socially.
Give them specific amount of time to chat and a specific prompt for discussion, to prevent students from discussing unrelated topics.
Give them less time than you think they actually need, add more seconds only when necessary. It is much better than to let the minutes drag on
with the students getting off task.
NOTE: Research shows better learning occurs by using active learning. Here are some guidelines in Planning an Active
Learning Activity for pair learning system.
When planning an active learning activity, answering the following questions will help clarify your goals and structure:
What are your objectives for the activity?
Who is interacting? Will students pair up with someone beside them? Or perhaps someone sitting behind/in front of them? Should they pair up
with someone with a different background? Someone they don't know yet?
When does the activity occur during the class? Beginning? Middle? End? How much time are you willing to spend on it?
Will they write down their answers/ideas/questions or just discuss them?
Will they turn in the responses or not? If they are asked to turn them in, should they put their names on them?
Will you give individuals a minute or so to reflect on the answer before discussing it or will they just jump right into a discussion?
Will you grade their responses or not?
How will they share the paired work with the whole class? How will you share the feedback and insight you gain from their responses?
If they are responding to a question you pose, how are you going to ensure that they leave with confidence in their understanding? Often, if
the various student answers are not discussed without the instructor explicitly indicating which ones are "right", students become frustrated.
Even with a question that has no absolute "right" answer, students want to know what the instructor's stand on the question is.
What preparation do you need to use the activity? What preparation do the students need in order to participate fully?
How to succeed?
Be precise/brief with the purpose.
Develop a plan for an active learning activity, try it out, collect feedback, then modify and try it again.
Start from the first day of class.
Always try the question or task yourself first. Whenever possible, also try it on a colleague.
Be explicit with students about why you are doing this and what you know about the learning process.
Negotiate a signal to stop talking.
Randomly call on pairs to share.
Find a colleague or two to plan with (and perhaps teach with) while you're implementing active learning activities.
Continue learning through reading, and practice.
APPROPRIATE LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF THE LESSON
To summarize, all lesson plans should be built around a student-learning-centered, measurable, and rigorous objective
that you derive from standard-aligned learning goals. Effective plan for a lesson should be revolve and connect within
the different phases of it. Strategies, approach and activities should be planned objectively. Engaging discussion with
students activities – pairs and trios, especially – is a low-risk strategy which ensures individual participation in a class of
any size. The sampling of basic activities listed below can be adapted to almost any topic or setting of any particular
subject matter, and different grade levels.
KWL (know, want to know, learned) – what the
students know and what they want to know.
FOR DATA GATHERING
Solving real-word problems (using skills and
information related to the curriculum
Video clip that relates the content Library research Performances and demonstration of skill
Editorial related to the lesson Internet research Authentic projects – created for a real
Posing a scientific problem and require
students to formulate a hypothesis or predict
what will happen next.
Reading Portfolios of students’ best work and work
Cartoon or comic strip related to the topic Non-abusive lecture Power point presentation
Game Inviting resource speakers Brochures
Simulation Field trip Writing/performing a song, rap or any
Puzzle, brain teaser Experiment News reporting
Mysterious/Puzzling scenario that will pull
students into a higher levels of thinking
Panel discussion Television talk shows
Song followed by its analysis Hands-on-learning Mock debates/trials
Picture without a caption- after stating the
objectives, students will be ask to put a
caption on a picture and explain the why.
Case study Mock job interviews
Quotable quote FOR ORGANIZING AND SUMMARIZING
Using graphic organizers
Anecdote Jingles, rap, song Cartoons, comic strips
Compelling stories from history, literature
related to the content
Verses Organizing a symposium
Current events to introduce circular topic Acrostic FOR CONCLUDING ACTIVITIES
Finish and review the KWL chart
Diagnostic test – if reviewing a past lesson
Power point presentation Passport to leave – writing down what
she/he had learned and discuss it with the
class before leaving the classroom
Voting – voting for an issue and explain their
Journal writing –
Explain the lesson on absent student;
reflecting and conceptualizing the lesson
learned with real world examples.
Rank ordering - ranking objects, qualities,
etc. according to importance
Preview of a coming attractions (next
Values continuum- rating their own traits or
values base on a Likert scale
Ex. LOW HIGH
Honesty 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Students finish the following. Statements:
3 facts I learned today …….
2 ways to use the information/skills that I
learned today …….
1 question I have ….
Devil’s advocate – teacher acts “contravida”
or against a certain issue in order to make
students think and draw reactions from them.
Conflict story – presenting a conflicting or
contradicting situation then ask the students
for the right thing to do.
Completing unfinished sentences like- From
this lesson I learned that _____________
Brainstorming Synthesize or summarize the lesson
Questions and answer
Anticipation guide – this will give the
student’s insights on a certain topic. It
involves writing down or reading statements
then state which is agreeable and which is
not and their personal reasons why.
PAIR LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN DIFFERENT PHASES OF A LESSON CHART
“PRACTICE and get the
-Functionalizing the new
-Applying the acquired
-Evaluating the results
“CREATE A FRUITFUL
MOMENT to meet the
-Briefly orienting pupils to the
content of the subject
-Exposing the contents
-Controlling the insights,
actualizing and firming up of
the new acquired knowledge
“CAPTIVATE THE INTEREST
& aim for the objectives”
- Lesson greeting
- stating the problem
-Warm up/review (if doing
another topic/level of the
same subject matter)
-my passport to
-meet the visitor
-organizing the details
USE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING MATERIALS/AIDS TO
CREATE AN INTERESTING VISUALIZATION AND ACTUALIZATION
OF THE SUBJECT