17 Strategies to Encourage Students 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 learner (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 learner becomes comfortable working with another learner, slowly increase the size of the group.

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

3. Provide the learner 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 learner the responsibility of tutoring a peer.

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

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

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

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

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

10. Designate the learner 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 learner must interact (e.g., returning finished tasks to students, proofreading other students’ work, etc.).

12. Get the learner 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 learner 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 learner 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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