Needs Focused Teaching

A quick, fun way to encourage learning

Teach-back activities are fun ways to encourage students to cement their learning by teaching others what they have been taught – by demonstrating, explaining and teaching. Remember the saying ‘You never really learn anything until you teach it’?

But as well as helping students learn new information, Teach-Back Activities are great for the teacher too because they let you check for understanding and see how much your students have learned. They also give you a bit of free time for a snooze. (Only joking!!) 

Teach-Back 1: Ready, Steady… TEACH!

No materials required. This is a ritual or routine to build up with your students which can be used as a quick, (often extremely lively), review at the end of any phase of teacher-talk or explanation.

It’s as effective as it is simple.

You explain to your students that whenever you call out the words (in your best Ainsley Harriet voice) “Ready, Steady… TEACH!”, they are to work with their allotted learning partner for thirty seconds to a minute to Teach-Back what they have learned moments before.

Learning partners should be numbered one and two because this Teach-Back has three phases.

Phase one:  After teaching the group the new information the teacher asks if there are any questions before moving on in order to clarify the learning and eliminate misunderstandings during the next stage.

Phase two: The teacher calls “Ready, Steady… TEACH!” and partner one immediately starts teaching partner two the new concept. It is important that they are encouraged to over-emphasise the key points with facial expressions and big hand gestures – humour makes learning stick – and that they move through the information quickly. For a difficult concept, students are given up to a minute to teach back the key points of the new information but it is best to keep the activity brief – once partners lose interest, the effect is lost. This has to be a fast-paced brief review – nothing more.

Phase three: The teacher calls ‘Come in Number one, your time is up’ (or something similar) to bring the first session of teaching to a close and partners swap roles. On the second call of “Ready, Steady… TEACH!” , partner two teaches partner one.

Partners then thank each other for being wonderful teachers and then the lesson continues.

I hope you enjoy using this activity with your students. I took it directly from my new book ‘The Active Learning Tool Kit – Outrageously Engaging Activities to Increase Student Participation, Raise Achievement & Have Your Toughest Students Asking for More.’

If you’d like the BEST collection of active learning ideas and activities to brighten up your classroom for just £3.99, head on over to Amazon right now and get your copy. Just do a search for ‘The Active Learning Tool Kit, or search for me by name, ‘Rob Plevin’