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Peers Mentoring Peers

Found In: discipline, motivating students

When I taught kindergarten, I tried to promote the idea of kids policing themselves. Peers monitoring peers can be very effective.

My kids sat at tables, and they each had a color name. The tables competed with each other for privileges/rewards. I used a die cutter and cut out the letters to spell the name of the “prize.” The letters were mounted on squares of paper that were colored to match the table names. I told the class what the “prize” was and then explained the things they could do to earn a letter. The letters were hung on the board with the first letter (only) showing. When a table earned a letter, I’d remove it from the magnetic clip and put in on their table. When a table spelled the word, they earned the prize.

However, this did not take other tables out of the running. The winning table started over, and the others continued. This ensured that no one gave up. I told them that they could remind each other and encourage each other so that their table could work as a team. However, no unkind remarks or anger were allowed.

Examples of things that earned letters were: being the first table to clean up, being the first table to show me they were ready to listen, and doing a good deed. Prizes included popcorn at snack time, extra computer time, the use of a special material, game or piece of equipment. It was very effective.



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