Using Peer Helpers

An Explanation of the Peer Helper Function and Suggestions on How to Introduce It to a Class

How does the Peer Helper function support learning? 

  • Peer helping is an opportunity to strengthen social and emotional skills for students.  This will happen through self-awareness and social awareness as they monitor their own understandings and their partner's understanding.
  • When peer helpers explain learned concepts, their math understanding is strengthened along with the understanding of the help-seekers, because voicing an understanding requires them to think with rigor and clarity. 

How does a student become a Peer Helper?

First, the student must achieve a passing score of 88% or higher on a lesson to be eligible to help peers with that lesson.  To make a student into a Peer Helper, log in and navigate to the Classes/Student Settings tab. Click View Roster in the column on the right and select the students you want to make peer helpers by clicking on the edit button for each helper.  Next, check the Can View box in the peer conference setting for each of these students.  Finally, save your changes by scrolling to the bottom and clicking the Save and Continue button at the bottom of the page.  In the image below, Ratan and Margarette are being added to the peer helper list.  Click on the image to see a larger version.

peer helpers

The designated peer helpers will see a list of students who have requested help, similar to what you see in the teacher dashboard.

What is the best way to introduce your class to the concept of Peer Helpers?

Consider a whole group discussion to co-create the classroom agreements for the peer helping.  A discussion on what is expected and setting clear social goals for collaboration will help guide students as they help each other.