According to the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, there is strong evidence that English Learners benefit from structured pair work. (IES, 2007). Here are some structured pair activities with examples for how to use them in math. Clearly explain and practice the sequence of each activity before directing students to use it independently.
Tip:Post-It Pair-Share & Question
A pairs up with B. Each has a sticky-note. The teacher directs students to share 1 - 3 ideas on their sticky note. Both A and B number their sticky 1), 2), 3) and write their ideas. They exchange notes and read the ideas. Then they ask one clarification question. For example, in a study of fractions, the teacher says, what are 2 ways to solve 1/2 plus 1/2? Post-it pair share and question. A writes: 1) add them; 2) put two 1/2 together. B writes: 1) 1/2 +1/2=1; 2) 1/2+1/2=2/2. A and B exchange stickies. A asks B, “What do you mean by put two 1/2 together?” B answers. B asks A, “What is 2/2?” A answers.
Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice Standard 3
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.