Learning through teaching


About a week ago, I finally decided to move my lightboard from my spare bedroom to a disused room at school.

The result was a great tandem teaching session with a colleague, a new blog post, a funny gif and a lot of interest around school from teachers.


Did you ever get a particularly cool new power tool or cooking utensil and start inventing reasons to use it? Maybe you bought a new hammer and then started wandering about your house looking for loose nails that needed one more tap. Or you bought a sodastream machine and thought… “I wonder if custard can be carbonated” (hint… it can’t).

So with my lightboard conveniently located in a room next to my classroom it was only a matter of time before my students had a go with it.

We’d just come to the end of our unit on direct, partial and inverse proportion and my year 10 students thought they had it totally nailed. But as we all know, knowing something and teaching something are two different things.

The lesson was pretty simple. Students had two tasks to complete in pairs over the course of two days.

Task 1: Make a video explaining a key concept that you have learnt in the unit.

Task 2: Create a revision sheet in google docs complete with answers.

It was great to see these students have the tables turned on them. Suddenly the lessons they’d been so used  to seeing me teach they had to try to teach in their own way. and they really did a fantastic job with it.


I impressed on students that teachers don’t teach with scripts, we kind of “wing it”. So as they were preparing their lessons they made sure that they knew the stuff inside out and would be confident to just teach it on the fly.

Their revision sheets were fantastic as well. Lots of thought went into them, with a progression from easy questions to more difficult questions towards the end. It was interesting to see students try to come up with modelling style questions, coming up with creative ways that these proportions can be used in reality.

The conversations at the end of the two lessons were really positive, with all students enjoying their video making, showing them off to family and friends around school. They are looking forward to finishing another unit so we can do it all over again.

How about you, do you ever get your students teaching?


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