17 Strategies to Encourage Learners to Interact With Their Peers

Are you looking for strategies to encourage students to interact with their peers? If so, keep reading.

1. Designate a peer to sit/work directly with the student (e.g., in various settings or learning activities such as art, music, P.E., on the bus, tutoring, group projects, running errands in the school building, recess, etc.). As the student becomes comfortable working with another student, slowly increase the size of the group.

2. Urge or reward others for interacting with the student.

3. Provide the student the responsibility of being a teacher’s aide for a learning experience (e.g., holding up flash cards, demonstrating the use of equipment, etc.).

4. Give the student the responsibility of tutoring a peer.

5. Ask the student to select a peer to work with on a specific task. If the student has difficulty choosing someone, determine the student’s preference by other means such as a class survey.

6. Select a peer to model appropriate interactions with peers for the student.

7. Attempt several groupings to ascertain the situation in which the student is most comfortable.

8. Assess the appropriateness of the social setting concerning the student’s capacity and ability to interact with peers.

9. Give the student many chances for social and academic success.

10. Designate the student to work with one or two peers on a long-term project (e.g., mural, bulletin board, report, etc.).

11. Create situations in which the student must interact (e.g., returning finished tasks to students, proofreading other students’ work, etc.).

12. Get the student to work with a peer who is younger or smaller (e.g., select a peer who would be the least menacing).

13. Create social rules: • Share learning materials. • Utilize a quiet voice in the school building. • Walk indoors. • Utilize care in handling learning materials. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

14. Ask the student to be the leader of a cooperative learning experience if they possess a mastery of skills or an interest in that area.

15. Ascertain the peer(s) with whom the student would prefer to interact and attempt to enable this interaction.

16. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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