22 Genius Tricks to Encourage Students to Interact With Their Peers

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

1. Choose nonacademic learning activities designed to enable appropriate interaction of the learner and a peer (e.g., board games, model school building, coloring, etc.).

2. Using observation and interviews with other students, determine those characteristics of the learner that interfere with successful interactions to ascertain skills or behaviors the learner needs to create.

3. Get the learner to practice appropriate interactions with the teacher(s).

4. Make sure the learner knows that failing to interact properly with a peer may result in removal from the learning experience and/or loss of participation in future learning activities.

5. Urge the learner to interact with others.

6. Get the learner to interact with a peer for short periods to enable success. As the learner shows success, slowly increase the duration of time the learner interacts.

7. Do not force the learner to interact with someone with whom they are not entirely comfortable.

8. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the learner’s progress. The parents may reinforce the learner at home for interacting with peers at school.

9. Draft an agreement with the learner stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., sitting near another learner, talking to another learner, etc.) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

10. Praise the learner for interacting with peers based on the duration of time they can be successful. As the learner shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

11. Get peers to invite the learner to take part in school or extracurricular learning activities.

12. Solidify the development of friendships with peers (e.g., designate learning activities for the learner involving peers, give the learner and a peer joint duty, etc.).

13. Talk with the learner to explain(a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., not talking, sharing, etc.) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., talking, sharing, etc.).

14. Praise the learner for interacting with peers: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

15. Give organized learning activities for the learner to take part in before, during, and after school (e.g., board games, softball, four square, tetherball, jump rope, flash cards, etc.).

16. Give the learner the chance to work with a peer who will be an appropriate model for interacting with other students.

17. Urge the learner’s peers to include them in free-time learning activities.

18. Praise those students in the classroom who interact properly with peers.

19. Urge the learner to become involved in athletic learning activities.

20. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment. • Complete assignments quietly. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

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

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