During my final placement, I created ‘Ask Me’ lanyards for the boys in my class (it was an all boys school!). The lanyards encouraged the boys to take responsibility for their own learning and work together to solve problems. Through observations, it was clear that some of the boys over relied on the class teacher (or myself) to help them with their work, especially in Maths. Therefore, I decided to implement this strategy to encourage the boys to take responsibility for their own learning. Through assessment, I would identify the boys who understand a certain topic and will be able to support the other children. The lanyards may also be handed out to early finishers. The boys loved wearing the lanyards as it gave them a sense of independence and made them feel important. It also encouraged positive relationships between the boys as it gave them chance to support and communicate with one and other in an educational setting. Additionally, it provided the boys with opportunities to explain and discuss their reasoning with each other and this particularly benefited their mathematical reasoning skills.
This is something that I would definitely implement again as I believe that they may be suitable for any age. However, you may have to be careful about which children are given the lanyards as they may be silly and mess around. It is important to set out expectations and state that the lanyards are used to help each other, NOT as a chance to have an irrelevant conversation!