It is important to use a wide range of teaching strategies. Not only do all students have slightly different ways of learning, but aside from this approaching the teaching objective from a multitude of angles and modes of learning is sure to reiterate and solidify the lesson.
Here are some strategies that I employ.
I clearly state the goals of the lesson at the beginning so that students have an exact context and reason for active learning. I also hold high expectations for my students that the goals set are both challenging and achievable.
I explain the lesson logically. concisely and clearly scaffold what I would like my students to do, asking concept checking questions so that I know the students are clear on the task I have proposed.
We summarise the lesson as a group, in pairs or individually employing other ways to depict the information such as ven diagrams, mind maps and graphs. Graphic summaries not only help solidify understanding, but they can highlight the interrelationships between concepts.
I Give my students time to practice using the new concepts they have learned in a variety of ways and over a period of time that allows the knowledge to solidify.
I provide my students with timely and useful feedback about what they are doing well and what they can improve upon. The feedback is tangible not just praise and can be used functionally to better their understanding of the given task.
I maintain flexibility about the time each of my students take to learn. This acknowledges that everyone has a slightly different pace of learning and different strengths in their capabilities and learning styles.
When pertinent, I encourage group work, making sure that one member of the group is not relied upon while another left out by making sure that each member of the group has specific tasks and can be made accountable as an individual for what the group comes up with.
I teach students how to learn, by giving them strategies to approach a given problem. For example when writing an essay, how to make an essay plan, how to decipher the keywords and important points in a question, how to unpack a math problem and how to approach words they may come across that they do not yet understand.
I encourage metacognition in my students - By this I mean that for appropriate given tasks I nurture my students’ ability to think about the options they have to go forward, and the different results they might yield. I then encourage self reflection so that a student may change course on a given task if they discover there may be a better way to do it.