Teachers are always on the lookout for new and effective teaching strategies to use in their classroom. While new teaching strategies are wise to try out, there are some strategies that teachers just can’t live without, such as differentiated learning, explicit learning, and cooperative learning. These high-impact teaching strategies are intended to increase students learning when they are applied. Here we’ll take a closer look at each of one of these effective strategies that are being used in today’s classrooms.
Differentiated Learning Teaching Strategies
To ensure that all students are being appropriately challenged and that their needs are being met, today’s teachers like to use differentiated learning in their classroom. Teachers love this strategy because it’s an effective way to meet the needs of each individual learner. It’s designed to work to each individual student’s learning profile, interest, and readiness. Teachers often use a choice board or menu when differentiating learning to ensure they are reaching each student. While many teachers find this strategy to be challenging because of the time it takes to create lessons, they also find it to be an effective method to use because students get to learn in a way that meets their own specific needs and learning style.
The explicit learning teaching strategy is when teachers are clear about their goals and demonstrate to their students how they would like them to achieve these goals by modeling it for them, as well as giving them specific examples. Essentially, educators are building upon students’ knowledge and skills through demonstration and instruction. Throughout the process, students practice what they’ve learned as teachers check for understanding. Classroom teachers find this teaching strategy to be effective, because it involves structured steps to teach a specific skill, and through practice, repetition and feedback, students are better able to understand concepts.
The cooperative learning teaching method is designed for students to work together to complete a task. It’s a teacher and student favorite because it usually involves hands-on learning. Students who work well kinesthetically and interpersonally usually thrive at this teaching strategy. There are many different approaches that teachers can use within this strategy that are all designed for students to work together to complete a common task. Some popular approaches are the jigsaw method, round robin, and think-pair-share. All of these approaches actively engage students in learning, which the NEA argues is a benefit of the teaching strategy. The NEA also says that cooperative learning results in students having higher achievement and self-esteem, as well as greater psychological health and social competence.
Experienced teachers know that not every teaching strategy you use will be effective for all students. Part of being an effective teacher is knowing how to utilize a combination of teaching strategies. By doing so, you are able to meet the needs of all learners while addressing a variety of different learning styles. Depending on your own unique teaching style and how your students learn, as well as through trial and error you will find a variety of strategies that will work well for your classroom.