Classwide Peer TutoringWhat is ClassWide Peer Tutoring (CWPT)?
ClassWide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) is a time tested, research proven, effective program that enhances the acquisition of academic skills. The traditional CWPT program is a systematic and fun instructional strategy that actively engages an entire classroom of students at the same time. CWPT is a comprehensive procedure that is based on reciprocal peer tutoring and group reinforcement to accelerate the process of learning and practicing basic academic skills.Who can benefit from CWPT?
The CWPT program was originally developed and used with special education students in their mainstream classrooms. It was very evident early on that the procedures were not only effective for the targeted students, but for the entire classroom of students regardless of their ability levels. Thus, CWPT has been researched and proven effective with the following student populations:
- Students with special needs
- Educationally labeled students
- Students at risk of school failure
- Students who are culturally and linguistically diverse
- Students with ADD and ADHD
- Students from pre-school to high school age levels and beyond
In traditional classroom instruction, the teacher is the main content delivery person, and the basic content delivery system is through teacher lecture and passive student learning and exposure. In a CWPT classroom, the students become the content delivery persons for one another, an active multi-modality delivery system drives the one-to-one practice sessions, and students are provided with numerous opportunities to respond directly with the content being learned. CWPT provides: One-to-one student pairs to teach and help each other learn, an opportunity for students to earn points and be reinforced for learning, a systematic game format that promotes self-improvement and enhances both class competition and social skills, an immediate feedback system that attempts to achieve "errorless" learning, and routine assessment evaluations to monitor and maintain both class and individual academic gains and progress.
What are the benefits of CWPT?
CWPT benefits for the classroom teacher include (but are not limited to):
- Access to a research proven instruction strategy that increases academic achievement,
- An opportunity to visually and verbally monitor and evaluate student academic progress immediately as it happens,
- Implementation of an effective academic procedure to provide instruction to all students at the same time; developing content to remediate individual deficits, whether for higher, average, or lower ability students,
- Being immediately available to provide feedback and assistance to all student pairs,
- Less time being devoted to student off-task behaviors,
- Increased opportunities for incidental teaching based on student's needs,
- More positive teacher/student verbal interactions, and
- A rare opportunity to see students being excited about learning.
CWPT benefits for students include (but are not limited to):
- Significantly increased "opportunities to respond" and student participation in all academic skill areas,
- Close learning "coaching" with immediate error correction and positive feedback from both the classroom teacher and their peer partner,
- Improved achievement scores, gains, and academic successes,
- A learning strategy that taps into the various learning styles or modalities to process academic information via their strongest learning modality,
- Increased opportunities for positive social/academic interactions with the classroom teacher and other student peers,
- Being aware of their individual progress and achievements,
- Increased "on-task" behaviors, and
- A fun way and great opportunity to become excited about learning in all subject areas.
- Juniper Gardens was founded in 1964 and has received continuous funding through competitive research and training grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education, among others. The training manual (titled Together We Can) is available at a low cost so that classrooms can implement this program with a minimal outlay of funds. For teachers wishing to undergo the Juniper Gardens training program, funding for program materials may be available from their school or district. However, the program probably can be implemented at little or no cost using existing materials.
Here's a link to commercially available products that follow the procedures laid out in Classwide Peer Tutoring.
Directions to Prepare for CWPT in your classroom:
- Make a question (with answer sheet) of the content that you would like to reinforce with your students. (For example, you could create a sheet of multiplication facts from 0-9 and provide the answers; or you could have students use list of spelling words, or content vocabulary terms with their definitions.)
- Assign the students to work together in pairs. The pairs should be heterogenous - not ability based, and remember to keep behavioral considerations in mind when assigning partners).
- Assign students to being either tutor A or B. (It doesn't matter who is who). Let them know that Partner A will be the tutor first. (This means they will be giving the question and providing reinforcement for the tutee).
- Decide on a time limit for the turn taking (1 minute is often appropriate). However, when you are first getting started and students are not automatic at the process, it is best to give them a few minutes for this activity before cutting them off and asking them to switch roles. As they master this process, they will need less time.
- When tutees get the answer correct, the tutor says, "Yes" or "That's correct". When the tutee gets the answer wrong, the tutor says, "No. The correct answer is....... Please write it three times on your sheet and say it aloud as you write it."
- When tutees get the answer correct on the first try, they can reward themselves with a smiley face on the worksheet. This will later be worth 2 points.
- When the tutees get an answer incorrect but they are able to write the correct answer three times, they get a straight face which is worth 1 point. When awarding points, if a student does not finish answering a question or writing the correct answer three times when time runs out, they are not awarded any points.
- After the time is up, the tutee adds up their points and records it on their data sheet.
- Then the roles reverse and partner B is now the tutee and the procedures are repeated.
- When both partners add up their points on the data sheet, they may also be adding bonus points. Bonus points can be given for exemplary team work by the classroom teacher or for following directions.
- When students have increased their score from the previous day or session, they are also awarded bonus points.