The classroom is a dynamic environment, bringing togetherstudents from different backgrounds with various abilities and personalities.Being an effective teacher therefore requires the implementation of creativeand innovative teaching strategies in order to meet students’ individual needs.
Whether you’ve been teaching two months or twenty years,it can be difficult to know which teaching strategies will work best with yourstudents. As a teacher there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, so here is arange of effective teaching strategies you can use to inspire your classroompractice.
Bring dull academic concepts to life with visual andpractical learning experiences, helping your students to understand how theirschooling applies in the real-world.
Examples include using the interactive whiteboard todisplay photos, audio clips and videos, as well as encouraging your students toget out of their seats with classroom experiments and local field trips.
2. Cooperative learning
Encouragestudents of mixed abilities to work together by promoting small group or wholeclass activities.
Throughverbally expressing their ideas and responding to others your students willdevelop their self-confidence, as well as enhance their communication andcritical thinking skills which are vital throughout life.
Solving mathematical puzzles, conducting scientificexperiments and acting out short drama sketches are just a few examples ofhow cooperative learning can be incorporated into classroom lessons.
3. Inquiry-based instruction
Pose thought-provoking questions which inspire yourstudents to think for themselves and become more independent learners.
Encouraging students to ask questions and investigatetheir own ideas helps improve their problem-solving skills as well as gain adeeper understanding of academic concepts. Both of which are important lifeskills.
Inquiries can be science or math-based such as ‘whydoes my shadow change size?’ or ‘is the sum of two odd numbers always an evennumber?’. However, they can also be subjective and encourage students to expresstheir unique views, e.g. ‘do poems have to rhyme?’ or ‘should all students wearuniform?’.
Differentiate your teaching by allocating tasks basedon students’ abilities, to ensure no one gets left behind.
Assigning classroom activities according to students’unique learning needs means individuals with higher academic capabilities arestretched and those who are struggling get the appropriate support.
This can involve handing out worksheets that vary incomplexity to different groups of students, or setting up a range of workstations around the classroom which contain an assortment of tasks for studentsto choose from.
Moreover, using an educational tool such as Quizalizecan save you hours of time because it automatically groups your students foryou, so you can easily identify individual and whole class learning gaps.
5. Technology in the classroom
Incorporating technology into your teaching is a greatway to actively engage your students, especially as digital media surroundsyoung people in the 21st century.
Interactivewhiteboards or mobile devices can be used to display images and videos, whichhelps students visualize new academic concepts. Learning can become moreinteractive when technology is used as students can physically engageduring lessons as well as instantly research their ideas, which developsautonomy.
Mobile devices, such as iPads and/or tablets, can beused in the classroom for students to record results, take photos/videos or simply as a behavior management technique. Plus, incorporating educationalprogrammes such as Quizalize into your lesson plans is also a great way to makeformative assessments fun and engaging.
6. Behavior management
Implementing an effective behavior management strategyis crucial to gain your students respect and ensure students have an equalchance of reaching their full potential.
Noisy,disruptive classrooms do no encourage a productive learning environment,therefore developing an atmosphere of mutual respect through a combination ofdiscipline and reward can be beneficial for both you and your students.
Examples include fun and interactive reward charts foryounger students, where individuals move up or down based on behavior with thetop student receiving a prize at the end of the week. ‘Golden time’ can alsowork for students of all ages, with a choice of various activities such asgames or no homework in reward for their hard work.
7. Professional development
Engaging in regular professional developmentprogrammes is a great way to enhance teaching and learning in your classroom.
Witheducational policies constantly changing it is extremely useful to attendevents where you can gain inspiration from other teachers and academics. It’salso a great excuse to get out of the classroom and work alongside otherteachers just like you!
Sessions caninclude learning about new educational technologies, online safety training,advice on how to use your teaching assistant(s) and much more.
Being aneffective teacher is a challenge because every student is unique, however, byusing a combination of teaching strategies you can address students’ varyinglearning styles and academic capabilities as well as make your classroom adynamic and motivational environment for students.