One of the most important decisions you make as a teacher is the strategies and styles you choose to use in the classroom. Building an eclectic arsenal of different techniques and styles means that you have a variety of ways to get through to any student, no matter their strengths or struggles.
It’s also important to vary the way you teach from time to time to keep students engaged in what they’re learning. Switching up teaching strategies every once in a while is a great way to keep things interesting. This is especially useful for typically monotonous lessons such as end-of-year reviews.
Teaching styles are also an important thing to understand because they are essential to the effectiveness of a lesson. Using the right teaching style based on the classroom and lecture is critical to your students’ academic achievement.
Five Effective Teaching Strategies
Teaching strategies are a great way to keep kids engaged in the classroom. Since varying teaching strategies can help class be more fun, it’s a great idea to have an arsenal of options in your toolbelt.
Here are six tried-and-true teaching strategies that you can start implementing into your classroom today:
1. Relate Lessons to the Real World
Many students struggle to understand how what they’re learning in class relates to their life outside of the classroom. It’s always a good idea to find ways that what you’re teaching relates to things students do every day, especially when it’s not apparent.
Most kids know that they will use simple addition and subtraction to handle finances, for example, but might not know that paying attention in science class can help them master baking their own desserts. Taking time to think about how your teaching affects your students’ lives is a great way to help them buy into what they’re learning.
2. Promote Cooperative Learning
Much of the learning done in your classroom is likely done on an individual basis. Each student listens to the lecture, takes notes, and completes their own assignments to earn the grade they get. While it is essential that students know how to perform well independently, it’s also vital that they learn how to work effectively with other students.
Promoting cooperative learning in the classroom means creating more lessons where students work together toward a common goal. This is an important skill for any student to have, since understanding how to cooperate with others will contribute to students’ abilities to be successful in their careers and teaches them how to be good citizens in their communities. It also teaches students how to use their strengths to complement others’ weaknesses and vice versa.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
If you’re looking for teaching strategies that help you mix it up in the classroom, try moving your classroom outdoors. This might mean going on a field trip, exploring a nearby field, or just sitting on the sidewalk outside and doing homework. Since exercise improves energy levels and zaps stress and anxiety, taking a walk is another great way to change things up while remaining productive.
According to The Outside Classroom Project, teaching and learning outside also has some great benefits, including:
- Creating patterns for a healthy, active lifestyle
- Fewer instances of ADHD and ADD, obesity, and diabetes
- Stronger language and problem-solving skills
4. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions
One of the best ways to keep children engaged in learning is to stimulate their minds in new ways. One of the easiest ways you can do this is by asking thought-provoking questions throughout your lessons. Asking thought-provoking questions helps create a conversation in the classroom, which is also a great way to show students that they have a say in their education.
Here are some simple guidelines to use when choosing questions to use in your classroom:
- Plan questions that require your students to use logic and reasoning to answer.
- Make sure you give your class plenty of time to think before answering.
- Avoid grading or judging students’ answers. If a student is on the wrong track, instead, try gently steering them in the right direction.
- Make sure to respond to students’ answers with dialogue that encourages deeper logic and reasoning.
5. Peer Teaching
Peer teaching is a fun way to get kids involved in the classroom while staying focused on class objectives at the same time. This teaching strategy helps make learning fun while reinforcing students’ self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and time management skills. Peer teaching can also be combined with approaches from the cooperative learning or real-world lesson sections when appropriately implemented.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when planning your first peer teaching assignments:
- It’s not a perfect system. Some students will feel stress or anxiety over presenting to the class, so be sensitive to this. When this happens, remember to be encouraging and supportive to help your student get through the assignment.
- Focus on teaching students how to give feedback. A big part of peer teaching isn’t the peer teaching at all – it’s showing the rest of the class effective feedback strategies that will give them tools they need to be successful adults.
- Try providing written prompts. Giving structure to peer teaching ensures assignments are inclusive of the things they need to be successful overall.
6 Incorporate Technology in the Classroom
There’s no doubt about it: we are living in a digital world. With so much technology available in the world today, it makes sense that implementing technology in the classroom is a teaching strategy that you should be taking advantage of. Technology is not only the way of the future, but it is also an invaluable tool that has many benefits for students today.
Here are a few benefits of incorporating technology into the classroom:
- Helps prepare students for their careers in the future
- Makes learning fun, which impacts students’ engagement in class
- Aligns learning with technology that most students are already familiar with
- Teaches students to be responsible, since they are in charge of their electronic device
Effective Teaching Strategies for Any Classroom
The best way for teachers to give students their best shot at high academic achievement is by executing the right actions in the classroom. One of the most critical decisions that teachers make in a classroom setting is the teaching strategies that they use. Making the right decisions in these areas contributes to higher levels of student engagement and achievement, so staying informed about each option is a wonderful way to make sure you’re doing everything possible to lead your students to success.