Effective Teaching Strategies
What are Teaching Strategies?
Teaching strategies, also known as instructional strategies, are methods that teachers use to deliver course material in ways that keep students engaged and practicing different skill sets. An instructor may select different teaching strategies according to unit topic, grade level, class size, and classroom resources. Many kinds of instructional strategies are employed to achieve teaching and learning goals and support different kinds of students. For example, teachers may select strategies tailored to English-language learners, students with ADHD or students with learning disabilities according to the needs of the student and the requirements of the course.
Instructors can also select classroom activities according to instructional method, such as using a tic-tac-toe strategy for differentiated instruction. Specific strategies can also be employed to teach particular skills, like strategies for problem solving. Activities that promote thinking and discussion in small groups like think-pair-share activities are ideal for cooperative learning, while activities that get students outside work well for active learning frameworks.
Differentiated Instruction allows teachers to adjust lessons to the range of skill level present in a class, while also supporting progress. Teachers observe students and use formative assessment methods in order to make sure class experiences can be adjusted to individual skill and ability levels as appropriate.
Active Learning encourages student agency in the learning process; active learning incorporates elements of project-based and inquiry-based learning in order to allow students to pursue their own learning paths. Activities for active learning can include think-pair-share strategies as well as kinesthetic learning environment.
Project-Based Learning experiences allow students to engage in learning about a topic over a period of time, and may help the development of deep understanding. Project-based learning can also incorporate a variety of skills and strengths as students work independently or together to make a video, book, or website.
Inquiry-Based Learning emphasizes the importance of effective questioning and thinking skills in the learning process. Students consider key questions that need to be answered to understand a given topic, then follow through to collect information, make hypotheses, participate in activities, and pursue answers in an open environment.
Blended Learning allows students to do part of their learning in an independent digital environment, and part of it in a face-to-face classroom setting. This technique combines the strengths of both settings to create a well-rounded experience that gives students opportunities to pursue learning in their own time, and to have in-person interactions to consolidate what they've learned.
Flipped Classrooms invert the traditional teaching model. In flipped classrooms students are assigned pre-learning before class, so that classroom time can be given over to problem-solving, one-to-one feedback and student collaboration. Flipping a classroom may allow students to make more effective progress during class-time, having prepared for the lesson beforehand and receiving more focused support and feedback from teachers and peers alike.
Cooperative Learning encourages structuring classes into groups to foster communication and working together in smaller units. Instructors can strategically form groups around students with varying skill levels and learning styles to promote collaboration, communication, and social skills.
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