What is your favorite teaching strategy?
Read on for three fresh ideas to start using today! These strategies are ones I have personally used in the classroom and which have all been proven to be successful. Remember though, not all classrooms are the same. Teaching strategies are not a one size fits all situation. You know your students best.
In the interest of variety, the three strategies I am including in this post encompass different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Of course, while we spend a lot of time talking about reaching the higher levels, it is also important to ensure our students are able to learn and comprehend at all of the levels.
Teaching Strategy #1 – Vocabulary Dance
This strategy helps students with the remember and understand levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and is a real crowd pleaser! The purpose of Vocabulary Dance is to help students grow their content vocabulary bank to include more words. The best part is it requires no materials.
By incorporating movement into vocabulary instruction, you are able to reach more learning styles and make the learning more permanent.
- Introduce a new vocabulary word in context.
- As a class, discuss the meaning of the word and how it is used.
- Work together to brainstorm a movement to represent the word.
- Repeat the process for two to three words intermixing them to practice the moves.
- Continue to use the assigned movement for each word every time the vocabulary word arises.
Teaching Strategy #2 – Representation Reflections
Use this strategy to help students apply and analyze their thinking of a concept. Be warned, you will need to prep a little bit for this strategy by finding an image that can be used, but it can be just about anything.
Your choice of an image may be a map, timeline, political cartoon, artwork, photograph, or nearly anything else you can think of.
- Display the image you want your students to reflect on and give them think time to develop their own thoughts.
- Ask students to share their thoughts and to provide evidence for their thinking.
- After that, students can meet with a partner to explain their thoughts more thoroughly.
- To further discussion, you might provide sentence stems or probing questions to help deepen the discussion.
- What can you infer about _____ based on the image?
- Why do you think the artist/author included _____?
- Why do you think this image is important?
- Come back together as a class to discuss students’ observations with their partners.
Teaching Strategy #3 – Musical Meanings
In this strategy, you reach the upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, and as such, it requires more forethought as well as student input. Alas, while more work is needed for this one, the payoff is a classroom session your students are sure to remember!
- Place students in groups.
- Assign a topic.
- Groups make a list of words they think best represent the topic.
- Then, groups perform a search for a song they believe best represents the topic based on their generated words and an analysis of the lyrics.
- To modify for simplicity, you may choose to provide students with a list of songs or even the lyrics and have them choose the best option.
- Groups then present their chosen songs to the class and provide evidence for why they think it is the best representation of the topic.
- The class votes on the lyrics they find to be the best representation.
More Teaching Strategies
There are thousands, if not millions of strategies out there to use in the classroom. These are just three of my personal favorites.
More of my favorite strategies include: