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Peer learning community at Harmon Elementary School

Part of this plan involves students taking ownership of their school and working collaboratively with their peers for academic success. Fifth graders in Nate Braunhut’s class have been working in a partnership with Mitzi Prueher’s first grade class to help with the different reading and math skills on which the first graders are learning. Working in small groups led by highly responsible fifth graders, stu­dents in Mrs. Prueher’s class get assistance with their oral fluency skills (reading out loud), practicing reading out loud high frequency words on flash cards, finding place value, telling time, and counting money. According to Mrs. Prue­her, “Having the fifth graders come in to help reinforce the concepts I am teaching is invaluable. The first graders love having the fifth graders come in to work with them.”

While the students, both first and fifth graders, feel that they are having fun, learning is taking place for all students involved. While helping the first graders with the concepts given to them by Mrs. Prueher, the fifth graders are learning a great deal about leadership, being a role model for young­er students, and multiple elements of character; all of these are essential skills which will benefit them long after they have left elementary school. Mr. Braunhut is thrilled with the system that has been developed. “I’m very supportive of this program. The fifth graders are being utilized in a way that benefits everyone. They serve and develop as leaders on campus while at the same time assisting younger peers in their quest of learning to read.” Fifth graders Cassidy Mil­lican and Alexandar Stanfel have both served as tutors to first graders. “It makes me feel good because I’m helping younger kids who don’t know the same things I do.” says Cassidy. “It’s really cool because I feel like a leader in my school.” says Alexandar.

This mutually beneficial relationship between the class­es has and will continue to yield positive results that go well beyond what is taught in the classroom. Students who might otherwise never have interacted are finding friend­ships and new experiences within a collaborative learning environment at Harmon Elementary. First grader Jackson Bodell think that “It is good for us, they help us do work.”

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Thursday, 13 June 2024

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