No two days are the same and what might have worked once in a classroom, might not work again. Switching between teaching strategies to suit the needs of the learners is a great way to ensure that the learners are meaningfully engaged and actively participating in the classroom.
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Whether you have just begun as a teacher or you have years of classroom experience, you know that creative teaching strategies help students meet their individual needs and hit their full potential.
Every teacher’s classroom practice is unique, so here are effective teaching strategies you can use for inspiration to give your students a fulfilling learning experience.
Visualization is very simply put, the ability to create mental images based on the words we hear or the text that we read.
This strategy, if used well, can drastically help students focus on the concept or subject matter at hand. It brings concepts to life and encourages students to make connections to the real world.
Some of the methods of implementing this strategy in the classroom include:
- Use of audio visual aids like photos, videos, audio clips, songs etc
- Diagrams, charts and mind maps
- Modeling as you teach for the visual learners who might need to see a visual representation to understand as opposed to hearing the concept being explained.
Related Reading: Learning Styles That Make Learning Easy-Peasy For Kids
2. Cooperative Learning
Virtual learning has led educators to understand the importance of a key part of the learning process – cooperation.
Cooperative learning is an instructional strategy in which a small group of students collaboratively work on a given task. The task can be as simple as solving a quiz or as complex as writing a story.
In such activities, students of different learning abilities come together and help maximize each other’s potential. It nurtures shouldering the responsibility to contribute to successfully finishing the task. It also encourages students to support one another and pitch in wherever required to achieve the end goal.
Related Reading: What is Cooperative Play? Stages, Benefits and Examples
3. Differentiated Instruction
Every classroom is a dynamic learning space with learners of varied abilities and personalities.
Differentiated instruction is a teaching strategy that takes into account that students from a single classroom may be at different starting points in their learning process.
Differentiated instruction needn’t just mean different content to suit individual needs. It can mean a combination of different content, products, teaching aids, methods, or even a different learning environment to help learners succeed.
For example, in an ELA lesson, a teacher might choose to divide the students into two groups based on their decoding and comprehension capacities.
Each group might receive a text that is suited to the group’s ability to grapple with it. While one group may read and discuss their text independently, the teacher might choose to work with the second group to help them read. The two groups may also receive differentiated assessment tools such as worksheets of varying complexity.
This helps address diversity in learning experiences and cater to all the students in an equally engaging way.
Related Reading: Benefits of Differentiated Instruction in Kids Learning
Gamification is among the best teaching strategies that use elements of game design to enhance the learning experience. It is an effective strategy for reinforcing concepts and improving retention.
Examples of gamification in education include using game-like platforms to deliver content, awarding points or badges for achievements, and setting up class competitions. This strategy transforms the learning environment into an exciting adventure, fostering enthusiasm for learning.
5. Student Centred Inquiry
Student-centered inquiry is a method that focuses on the student’s role in the learning process. So, in an inquiry-based classroom, one would see students exploring the material or concept, making sense of it, sharing thoughts and ideas, and asking questions rather than the teacher just orally explaining the concept.
This strategy is a great way to generate curiosity among young learners and engage an inactive class. Through such an approach, children develop skills of researching, co-relating, and reflecting on information through independent exploration and engagement with the content.
6. Professional Development
Teaching is a dynamic and demanding profession. Investing some time to take up professional development courses is a great way to keep up with new research and methods relevant to the classroom.
With educational practices and policies constantly getting upgraded, such courses are perfect to interact with like-minded teachers to share inputs and ideas (your own version of cooperative learning!) that can be used in your teaching practice!
Related Reading: Types of Educational Philosophies for Teachers
7. Flipped Classroom
The flipped classroom is one of the core teaching strategies that has gained popularity in recent years. It’s among the best teaching strategies for creating an interactive and student-centered learning experience. In this approach, teachers provide educational materials, such as video lectures or readings, for students to review at home.
Flipped classroom examples include students watching video lessons before class and using their in-class time for discussions, problem-solving, and collaborative projects. This educational strategy encourages self-directed learning and helps students develop critical thinking skills.
Related Reading: Tips for Successfully Flipping Your Classroom
8. Project-Based Learning (PBL)
PBL encourages students to work on extended projects that require them to explore, analyze, and apply their knowledge. This educational strategy promotes critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.
In a project-based learning approach, students take on complex, open-ended tasks that simulate real-life situations. It’s an effective strategy for teaching by allowing students to delve into topics deeply and develop practical skills that are valuable beyond the classroom.
9. Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) focus on nurturing students’ emotional well-being and interpersonal skills. Mindfulness practices, like breathing exercises and meditation, are ways of teaching students to manage stress and improve concentration.
SEL strategies involve teaching skills related to self-awareness, empathy, and relationship building. This teaching approach equips students with vital social and emotional skills to handle challenges effectively.
Related Reading: Interesting Social-Emotional Learning Activities for Classroom
10. Peer Teaching and Peer Assessment
Peer teaching and peer assessment are valuable tutoring strategies that empower students to take an active role in their learning. Peer teaching encourages collaboration and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, enhancing the overall learning experience.
In this teaching approach, students learn from their peers, reinforcing their understanding of the material. Additionally, peer assessment involves students evaluating each other’s work, which promotes self-assessment and critical thinking.
11. Socratic Questioning
Socratic questioning stimulates critical thinking and meaningful discussion. It’s a way of teaching that encourages students to explore concepts and ideas deeply. By asking thought-provoking questions, educators can guide students to analyze and reflect on the subject matter effectively.
Socratic questioning is a valuable teaching practice that fosters analytical thinking and reasoning skills. It’s a method of teaching that engages students in active dialogue rather than passive learning. This approach helps students grasp complex concepts and encourages them to think critically and express their thoughts.
Related Reading: Best Tips & Strategies to Teach English Language
6 Benefits of Teaching Strategies
Teaching is a dynamic profession that demands a continuous commitment to improving one’s practices in teaching. Here are six key advantages of adopting strategies for teaching:
- Enhanced Learning Through Visualization: One of the most impactful teaching practices is the use of visualization. Employing visual aids such as photographs, videos, and diagrams can help students better comprehend complex concepts.
- Promotes Cooperation: Good teaching techniques often emphasize cooperative learning. Encouraging students to collaborate on projects and tasks not only enhances their academic achievements but also instills valuable teamwork skills.
- Catering to Diverse Learners: Recognizing that students possess varying learning abilities and preferences, effective educators embrace differentiated instruction. This approach allows teachers to tailor their teaching methods to cater to the unique needs of each student, ensuring that all learners have the opportunity to thrive.
- Fosters Student-Centered Learning: Empowering students to take control of their education is a hallmark of good teaching practices. Student-centered inquiry encourages independent exploration, critical thinking, and curiosity.
- Professional Development: Staying current with evolving educational research and teaching methods is crucial for educators. Engaging in continuous professional development through courses and workshops enables teachers to expand their knowledge and refine their teaching skills.
- Promotes Social and Emotional Growth: Effective teaching strategies extend beyond academics to nurture students’ social and emotional well-being. Integrating mindfulness, social-emotional learning, and peer teaching techniques into the classroom environment helps students develop interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and a sense of responsibility.
Incorporating these teaching practices into your classroom can create a more engaging and supportive learning environment, ultimately benefitting both teachers and students in their educational journey. By embracing these teaching techniques, educators can foster a positive and enriching educational experience for all.
3 Online Resources for Effectively Using Teaching Strategies
While the teaching strategies outlined above can greatly enhance your classroom experience, it’s essential to have access to the right resources to implement them effectively. Here are some valuable resources, including online platforms like SplashLearn, that can support your efforts in creating an engaging and enriching learning environment:
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SplashLearn is a comprehensive PreK–grade 5 learning program that combines gamification and educational content to make learning fun and effective. It offers over 8,000 games and activities that align with various subjects, including math and ELA. With its game-based approach, SplashLearn encourages student participation, making it a valuable resource to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom.
Kahoot! is an interactive platform that allows teachers to create engaging quizzes, surveys, and discussions. It promotes active learning through gamified assessments, making it an excellent tool for reviewing and reinforcing classroom topics.
Edmodo is a secure and collaborative platform designed for educators, students, and parents. It offers features like assignment submissions, discussion boards, and quizzes, enabling teachers to create a virtual classroom environment that supports different teaching strategies.
Related Reading: Best Virtual Learning Tools for Kids and Teachers
Every teacher is unique and so is their classroom. So, what might work for your classroom may be entirely different than what may work for your colleagues. By using a combination of teaching strategies and changing the mix every once in a while, your classroom is sure to become an enriching environment for you and your students.
What teaching strategies are your preferred choice to include in your practice? Do you have any tips for other teachers? We would love to hear from you, so write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Related Reading: Best Classroom Management Strategies
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is it important to switch between teaching strategies in the classroom?
Switching between teaching strategies is essential to engage learners effectively and adapt to their evolving needs, ensuring active participation and meaningful learning experiences.
How can technology be used to enhance teaching strategies?
Technology can boost student engagement by introducing online interactive games and educational apps, making learning more enjoyable and effective.
What is differentiated instruction, and how does it benefit students?
Differentiated instruction tailors teaching methods, content, and learning environments to meet the unique needs of each student, ensuring an equally engaging learning experience for all.