Effective Teaching Methods
Teachers are always looking for ways to innovate inside of their classrooms to always keep their students open to learning new things. There are “tried and true” methods that will help keep the future open for new innovation.
When beginning a new unit or project with students, teachers should always provide clarity to the purpose of the new unit or project and what learning goals are. Teachers should also provide clear criteria for how their students will be able to achieve success in the new unit or project. Providing models and examples to students will help the students visualize what the end result will look like.
Students should always have the opportunity for feedback. Otherwise, a student may not be able to discern that they are moving forward towards their goals. A good idea would be to provide individual feedback, whether written or verbal, in addition to providing whole-group feedback that relates to the collective class’ growth and areas of improvement. This is also a two-way street so that students can provide feedback to their teacher so the instructor may find areas that need to be adjusted in the learning process, class materials, or instruction.
While students may not be happy with it, teachers should assess their classes often to get an idea of how their students are learning the new material. It’s recommended that teachers spend just as much time on formative assessments as they do on summative assessments.
The most effective teachers are those that step down for the front of the classroom and allow time for the entire class to discuss the newest material. This lets the students learn from each other and put their figurative heads together to come up with the best “plan of attack.” This method is also a great opportunity for teachers to utilize the previously mentioned method of formative assessment to discern how well students are understanding the new material.
Each teacher will find a different method that works for their individual classes. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to discuss these methods with colleagues to see if there are any new ideas they can introduce into their classroom to best help their students.