Remember those scenes from Charlie Brown Specials when Charlie Brown was interacting with his teacher or an adult? The noise that was supposed to be the adult's voice.... wah, wah, wah wah wah waah! I didn't quite understand what that was all about until I became that adult speaking to students. Teachers have only about 5-6 minutes to teach or explain a skill before student attention spans drop. Yet, if a student was to explain or teach the same skill to another student, the results are quite different. I'm sure there are a host of reasons for why this occurs, but that's for another blog to discuss.
So, I decided to have students in my 5th grade class help each other complete a task using Google Drive. I set parameters: no student could ask me for help unless they asked three other students, students had to ask at least one person who was on the other side of the room, forcing them to get out of their seat and move(bringing in oxygen into their brain), and the student who was helping could not do it for them but rather had to explain what to do. I wondered if students would be hesitant to ask for help from other students, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the exact opposite happened.