Newark middle school students.
her classroom, work with the selected
students to help them prepare a lesson
on the relevant topic or literacy skill.
During a six-hour training session with
the mentor and weeks of working with
their teachers, the students learn
; Components of their lesson—what
must be done before, during, and at the
end of the learning to push it into long-term memory.
; An attention signal for getting
students to focus on them as the
; Community builders to establish
and maintain cooperative relationships.
; The content and strategies that they
; Who will be responsible for each
part of the lesson.
; How to use video and music in the
© SUSIE FITZHUGH
the strategies, plan their lessons, teach
their classmates, and reflect on their
teaching experience, they displayed a
reinvigorated commitment to learning.
Here, we describe how the program
works and discuss why the oppor-
tunity to teach has been so powerful for
Students learn how to design the
lesson by placing the cognitive strat-
egies they will teach within the National
Urban Alliance’s Pedagogical Flow
Map, a 12-step, sequential tool that is
now familiar to all the middle school
students in the program. The flow map
guides the instructor through each
component of the lesson: introduction,
concept development, vocabulary devel-
opment, skill development, teaching the
lesson, mediation for mastery, teacher
(self) reflection, releasing the lesson,
review, student reflection, concept
confirmation, and assessment. After
receiving this training, the students
design the lesson and present it to their
peers with little additional input from
In one such lesson, we observed
Ashante. Hair pulled back with a bow,
and wearing her favorite black leather
jacket, Ashante stood at the head of the
class with no open book or note cards
nearby. If you didn’t see her tapping
her feet behind the desk, you would
never have guessed that she was a little
nervous. Armed only with colored pens
Students resonate to the task of teaching,
finding it energizing and eye-opening.
apply the instructional and literacy
How Student Demonstration
strategies presented in the seminars.
Before each demonstration lesson, the
mentor leads a meeting to discuss what
the lesson is about, the strategies he or
she will use, the rationale for selecting
the strategies, and the principles of
learning on which the strategies are
based. After the demonstration lesson,
observers meet to discuss and reflect on
what they and the students experienced.
The 2009–10 school year, the fourth
of the five-year grant, took an amazing
turn when the team of mentors, brain-
storming ideas to infuse new energy and
excitement into the upcoming school
year, decided to include students as
team teachers in the classroom dem-
onstration component of the program.
During the year, as these students col-
laborated with mentors to learn about
During the mentor’s visit each month,
two or three participating teachers
give the mentor the names of several
randomly selected students from their
classes. Every student in the participating teachers’ classes will eventually
be part of a student teaching team.
The mentor and another teacher,
who has requested that a certain demonstration lesson be taught in his or