Teacher Strategies for Improving Instruction

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Teaching is More Than Giving Information to Students and Testing

Teachers who know the fine points of instruction are more successful. Students whose teachers use these strategies learn more and get better test scores.

Teaching is often viewed by the general public as an example of an essay writer for you, a matter of presenting lessons, testing, and maintaining discipline. Teachers know that instruction is far more complex. But all teachers can benefit from learning what matters most in the classroom.

 

Improve Student Engagement with a Bit of Healthy Tension

Avoid getting stuck in a rut. Variety stimulates practically all aspects of life, including teaching. Too many notes, too many games, and too much of any particular technique discourage engagement. Planning should involve more than being sure that standards are thoroughly covered and assessed, but how they will be covered and assessed.

Research indicates that student engagement is improved by high-energy teaching. That concept includes enthusiasm, but much more. It also refers to how well a teacher manages to keep the lesson moving without interruptions. Teachers should be able to move quickly and seamlessly from topic to topic without “downtime,” which might result in disengaged students.

Engagement can be enhanced by maintaining a healthy degree of tension in the class– a little pressure like letting students know that they might be called on to answer a question is an example of healthy tension. This does not imply that students should feel stressed out by intimidation, but they should be aware that they might have to contribute. Too much stress interferes with learning. This is perhaps analogous to realize that driving a car requires a healthy level of awareness of hazards, but the scenery can still be enjoyed along the way.

Teachers Should Encourage Students to Process New Knowledge

Hearing what a teacher says alone does not result in learning. Students need to process new information to make it meaningful and relevant. People truly know those things they understand. This is why constructivist theory is so vital to learning. Learning is an active process in which learners build on previous experiences. Therefore, teachers must use appropriate examples that allow students to connect the new with the old. Three additional considerations for processing new knowledge are:

  1. Visual teaching is powerful. This does not mean that a constant stream of movies is the best way to teach. Well-selected, relevant movies help, but if used too often can become boring. According to an online essay writer, the use of visual learning is best when teachers show objects or perform brief demonstrations to augment their verbal message. Visual aids include many simple items as well as maps, globes, beakers, puzzles, pictures, etc.
  2. Present information is small portions especially when complex new information is presented. Students are more successful in processing new material in stages or steps. The brain is limited in how it stores information, and it is not designed to store large blocks of information presented quickly.
  3. Students should take notes, not copy them. Encourage students to design a way to record new information in a way that allows them to rephrase new material in a way that works for them. There might be information that should be copied verbatim, but for most notes, a student-designed method will likely work better than a method required by the teacher. Of course, it is helpful if the teacher checks notebooks to see if they are being used helpfully. The quantity of notes is not important– quality is.

Formative and Summative Assessment Strategies

Assessment is generally divided into formative and summative categories. This dichotomy may be one of the most ignored concepts in contemporary education.

Formative assessment may be thought of as practice. It includes those activities involved in teaching new materials– worksheets, discussions, group work, pop quizzes, etc. Formative items allow the teacher to diagnose and suggest corrective procedures. They are not part of the grading process, although it is common for teachers to feel the need to grade everything students do.

By being graded on everything students come to feel that school is about getting grades. For students to understand that grades are given selectively as a result of periodic summative assessments is desirable. Summative assessments may be thought of as tests and quizzes that are administered to determine how much a student has learned about specific standards. Shorter, more frequent assessments generally will produce better results.

Teachers can reduce the amount of work they do when students understand that formative work is not graded, but that their knowledge of the formative material will determine what they know and subsequently determine their grades. As for the experts from the professional essay writer, the formative work should be thoroughly reviewed and appropriate feedback should be given. There should be a close correlation between the formative material and the summative assessments.

If teachers feel they must assess formative material, they might try using cartoon stickers, checkmarks, or self-assessments that are not recorded but give students some informal appraisal. Formative assessments can present opportunities for self-assessments, which have the advantage of letting students compare how well they perform compared with the teacher’s expectations.

There are many fine points to teaching that are not generally recognized by the general public or by some teachers. When teachers recognize and apply these little-known instructional strategies, the results can benefit student learning and save teachers valuable time.

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