Commonly used and effective instructional strategies
By April C. Barbosa
Teaching strategies are the methods and techniques a teacher employs to help their students or pupils understand the teachings they are being taught in class. The most appropriate strategy for the topic being covered, the learner’s level of knowledge, and the stage of their learning journey are all elements that must be taken into consideration before applying these methods in the conversation. However, that does not imply that a teacher will stick to only one method of instruction. Throughout a single lesson, they can employ a variety of instructional strategies with distinct end objectives. The best teaching strategies are those that have undergone extensive testing overtime. While some teaching methods surely are creative, this is not a need.
In am article by Jamie Goodwin called Top 10 Teaching Strategies to Use in Your Classroom, she mentioned 10 different teaching strategies that every educator must know in their own classroom. She claimed that these methods are temporary. Some methods may be very practical and successful this year, but that could change the following year. So you can see how crucial it is to have a wide range of teaching techniques under your belt so that you never run out of creative ways to teach your students. Here, I would be highlighting only five of them which I think are best to apply in every classroom — and the ones I already am using — for a higher and better student learning experience.
First is called modeling. When you instruct the kids to do anything, they must truly know how to do it. No matter how explicit your instructions are, it’s a good idea to demonstrate how you anticipate them to do a task so they know exactly what to do. This will be extremely useful for your visual learner kids. If you were a math teacher, doing the problem on the board before having the students complete it would allow them to highlight the solution on their own. The satisfaction when your pupils are able to compose themselves and feel confident in answering on the board is beyond comparison. The way they stand up from their seats, to the way they get the chalk and smile, thinking how correct their answer would be makes every teacher’s heart jump in pure joy.
Second is addressing mistakes. This one is one of my favorites as I can already see it in kids even at home. Kids love to pay attention to details hence their love for finding mistakes here and there. This method is when you incorporate mistakes in your lessons, or if you are a fan of blackboards, write some wrong spellings or computations enough for them to criticize and correct it by themselves. There was a time when I accidentally wrote a misspelled word on the board during an English class and suddenly, one learner exclaimed to me, “Teacher, garo sala man ang spelling kang sinurat mo po.” Instead of feeling embarrassed, I complimented her for having the confidence to bring up what she had noticed and fix it on her own initiative. The situations in question demonstrate how grounded teachers must remain.
Third is termed providing feedback. This one focuses more on maintaining open lines of communication and dialogue between teachers and their students. According to my observations, this is rarely used because it takes a lot of time to complete. But when done, it has such an impact. This is where you comment both favorably and unfavorably on the work, performance, and assignments of your pupils. The students must also understand where they made mistakes, why they did so, and how to correct them. Even though it takes a lot of time, this approach is undoubtedly effective because it fosters communication among the students in your class and helps them form bonds. In addition to giving feedback one-on-one, you can also do it in a larger group, such as during a group feedback session. Take this as an opportunity to provide healthy criticisms in their outputs while giving as much praise and compliments on things that they did best.
Fourth comes cooperative learning. There is a simpler phrase for it at the primary level, which is used by some other secondary schools to engage kids in a team environment. Goodwin thinks that when students are put into groups, given a specific assignment, and collaborate to complete it, they learn effectively. In our classrooms, this is the most frequent instructional technique that I and my colleagues employ. We divide up our students into several groups, give them felt-tip pens, manila paper, and access to their textbooks, and ask them to do a certain activity. This will seem a little challenging during the first few weeks of school because some of them may still be getting used to their new surroundings due to new classmates and/or separation anxiety from the summer break.
Fifth is the student-led classroom. Most of the time, it is the teachers who present, deliver, and discuss the lesson in front of the classroom. But this time, let us give the floor to our little kids and see how amazing they are at nailing the task. This is when you let the students report a particular topic in class. Similar to cooperative learning, you group them into several teams and assign topics for each. In addition, after providing them time to prepare for their output, let certain members report in front of the class, discuss it, and then administer quizzes immediately after. Here, you may observe how effectively they are able to manage their time, work well with others, maintain a constant posture while reporting, and demonstrate how well their communication skills are being developed.
As a teacher, I think that my duty doesn’t end with only completing the lesson plan and learning materials; it also includes how I present the teachings the following day in a way that will allow my students to understand and comprehend them. I have a responsibility to teach kids how to become the people they want to be in the future, not just how to do well in school and to dream big and lofty, as well as the techniques for turning every ambition into reality.