3 highly effective teaching practices to implement right now
It’s impossible to implement every strategy you learn in your education program and continued training.
Instead, the purpose of your professional development is to help you amass a toolkit of strategies you can use when nothing else seems to be working — or when you need a fresh approach.
While innovation and calculated risk-taking is essential in the classroom, highly effective teaching practices remain the foundation of quality classroom instruction.
They are backed with research that shows which strategies consistently produce results.
For that reason, should be implementing these strategies right now.
Communicate your expectations
Your students will not meet your expectations if they don’t know what they are.
You must tell your students the goals and procedures you established, and the best time to do it is at the beginning of each class. Students need to know what to do, how to do it, and what it should look like when they have finished.
There’s a second part to this highly effective teaching practice, and that’s to provide your students with all the materials they need to do the job. Imagine if you hired someone to work on your car, but they had no tools. Having the right tools gets the work done.
The same is true for your students.
Encourage social learning experiences
Your students look forward to being with their friends in school. They like to talk and socialize, so why not capitalize on their need to communicate with their peers?
Both peer tutoring and small group discussions are highly effective teaching practices, and implementing them is easy.
- Peer tutoring: Ask your students to work with a partner. Students can turn to the person next to them, or you can direct them to get up and find a learning buddy. Working in pairs is beneficial to both partners because students can communicate and clarify their responses.
- Small group instruction: Small groups of three or four students is an equally effective instructional method because it builds on member strengths and creates a feeling of accomplishment when the task is completed.
Again, your success lies in clearly communicating your expectations. If you allow 60 seconds for discussion, avoid the temptation to let the time drag on. Small groups need specific directions explaining how to interact and what the learning goals are.
Maintain high levels of instructional rigor
Learning is a complex activity that requires active student engagement in meaningful activities. Students are capable of solving complex problems with critical thinking, but they often need their teacher’s guidance in doing so.
To create and maintain instructional rigor, scaffold instruction and orchestrate effective classroom discussions designed to elevate thinking. Incorporate supplemental tools like personal technology and other resources that individualize learning. Encourage discovery and exploration in the learning process and challenge your students to consider multiple perspectives.
Your ability to remain curious during the learning process will inspire your students to do the same.
Communicating your expectations, encouraging social learning experiences, and maintaining high levels of instructional rigor are three practices to implement immediately.
You’ll see the results in your students’ achievement and growth levels.