14 minutes read
May 18, 2022
13 Successful Teaching Strategies
Teaching children is a complex process because they require more attention than an adult person. You may need to employ different teaching strategies when teaching kids.
But what are teaching strategies?
Teaching strategies are the methods to ensure your kids or students learn efficiently. But not all strategies yield similarly, and if the one you apply is ineffective, it may not necessarily be bad; it could just be the wrong one for your child only. So, to give you other ideas, here are 13 core teaching strategies you can try today:
Prioritize classroom management
Your teaching skills count for nothing if you can’t manage your classroom. Children are often disorganized, and it is your job to keep them in line. You can’t teach in a chaotic classroom, and without a proper strategy for managing your classroom, you will fail.
There are over 20 strategies for managing classrooms alone, which means this issue is significant in teaching. And here are three ways to manage your students effectively.
The first strategy is modeling exemplary behavior, which involves mimicking everything you want to show the students how. The second approach is encouraging students to engage in the classroom processes, making them less distracted. Thirdly, you should avoid shared punishment. Collective punishment is counterproductive and teaches a child that other people can bear the consequences of the actions of others.
Use summative assessments
We are used to summative assessments; kids often face them at the end of a term or a session. The goal is to see how well students understand the lessons you taught them throughout the session. Some people will argue that summative assessments aren’t a good teaching strategy because exams are not an actual test of knowledge.
However, with summative assessments, you can see how well your students learned the lessons you taught. In most cases, no one knows a student better than their teacher. If a teacher believes that assessments make students try harder and their results back the claim, it works.
The downside of a summative assessment as a teaching strategy is that you can’t correct a problem if you find it. For example, if you use an end-of-unit method to fix your summative assessments, you cannot return to that unit just because a child failed; in most cases, the curriculum and time won’t let you.
Plan your lessons to include time for formative assessments
Formative assessments are tests in the middle of lessons to show how far a child has gone with their learning process. For example, in a math class, while teaching counting, you can pause midway and give kids a counting activity to see how well they grasp your words and ideas. Teachers often prefer formative assessments to summative ones because with the former, you can genuinely monitor how well a child is learning.
Formative assessments make you aware of each child’s issues with the lesson. Sometimes, you will have a few star students at the end of a term, which is a good thing. But your teaching strategy would be more successful if you groom all your students to do well, even if they don’t achieve peak performance.
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Use active teaching
Active teaching is on the top of the list of the most effective types of teaching strategies because it ensures that every kid in your class concentrates on what you are teaching. It prioritizes students’ engagement — the first step to enjoying learning and boosting retention.
Sometimes, it can be tempting to recite the contents of your kids’ textbooks and get on with your life. However, as a teacher, you must always seek approaches that promote students’ engagement in class. The strategy is vital for measuring kids’ retention rates, understanding of real-world application of concepts, and other metrics.
How will you know if your students understood everything you taught if you do not engage them? Some teachers only realize that their kids paid no attention in class at the end of summative tests. So, employ active teaching as one of your regular strategies in teaching.
Consider personalized learning
You should take a step back and watch each child’s learning process to help them improve. Some kids will learn faster than others, and that is fine. An easy way to ensure that you have students who understand the lesson in the best way possible is to use personalized learning as a teaching strategy.
Personalized learning is one of the most successful classroom teaching strategies. You can use the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to ensure you don’t leave a single kid behind. Use the UDL system to find your students’ strengths and weaknesses, provide flexible classrooms, and adapt the information for multilingual students.
Introduce your students to math games
Believe it or not, games are one of the best math teaching strategies for students, especially for those scared of math. To teach a complex subject like math, you need a strategy that works. Thus, if you want to succeed at teaching mathematics, strategies like math games should be your favorite out-of-hat tricks for the kids.
With math games, you keep kids interested in the lesson while in class and even at home.
The good thing about math games is that there are so many to try. For example, if a child does not like the animal counting game, they could love the fruit slashing counting game. The goal is to ensure your students get the ideas in your math lessons at the end of the day.
Embrace classroom technology
When we talk about innovative teaching strategies, we mean systems that leverage technology as a teaching assistance for children. Some parents firmly insist on keeping their kids away from screens and gadgets, so you can skip this strategy if you have such kids in your class. However, if you are open to using technology, this approach can change your teaching effectiveness for the better.
Sometimes, incorporating technology into your teaching can cause distractions for the students. However, if you have instilled the importance of timing and focus in your children, it will be easy for you to use technology as a teaching strategy. With virtual reality, fun course videos, and other tools, students can become more engaged in the learning process, opening their minds faster.
Gamification is a teaching system where you merge a course with a game to help your students learn new concepts. The approach works like magic for children who are constantly distracted in class instead of focusing on the course. An easy way to make gamification work for you is to pay attention to such students and find out what distracts them. If it is a game or pastime, find a way to incorporate its elements into your lesson.
For instance, you can creatively help a child who has difficulties in understanding basic math concepts like addition and subtraction but who likes to tear up paper and litter. The trick is to think of ways to incorporate that habit into the lesson. Get a sheet of paper, have a student tear five pieces, then five more, then make them count to see how many make up 10.
There are many other ways you can try out gamification, like using actual games. Gamification strategy makes it easier for kids to love the course as much as they love the game. The use of games that your students can understand and repeatedly recreate will make this teaching approach more successful.
Introduce convergent and divergent thinking
Convergent thinking involves the use of different elements to arrive at a single solution or answer. A practical example of convergent thinking is a Jigsaw puzzle. Introducing this thought process to children makes them open to seeing things in more than one way.
For example, you can draw four triangles to form a square in front of a child. Convergent thinking will make them see each triangle as part of a square instead of separate, unique shapes. Divergent thinking encourages children to hold on to one piece of information and look at it as critically as possible until they find different answers from it.
Divergent thinking encourages critical thinking because it causes students to create scenarios where something impossible could automatically become possible. An excellent example of divergent thinking is a word or phrase prompt for writing. Another example is having children uncover ten words from one word.
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Add project-based learning to your plan
The use of project-based learning as a teaching strategy is a way to make kids get a hands-on experience of their lessons. Sometimes, there are students who are disengaged from the learning process and forget what you taught them immediately after the class ends. Immersing such kids in projects allows to apply their knowledge.
Often, there are no right or wrong answers in project-based learning, just a constant state of unlearning and relearning. We often expect kids to apply the ideas we taught them, and project-based learning will make it easier. When your students interpret questions in their workbooks as real-world problems, they will think outside the box and apply unique and creative solutions.
You can divide children into groups and offer them group projects. Alternatively, make them do personal projects. The former will teach them teamwork, leadership, and organization, while the latter approach will help them build self-confidence and independence.
Encourage peer teaching
Peer teaching is among the teaching strategies with many drawbacks and benefits. While scholars often encourage teachers to use this approach to improve interaction between students, it may cause unhealthy competition. However, if you keep the system in check, it may be pretty successful.
Peer teaching involves encouraging students to teach the topics they understand better to their colleagues. If you monitor the implementation of this teaching strategy, you will help both sets of students better understand subjects. Those learning would want to be like their peers on the teaching end, so they will work harder, while the students who are teaching benefit from rehashing the topics.
If a teacher has mastered diplomacy, then using peer teaching can be a blessing. However, note that this method does not work very well in teaching strategies for kindergarten. The children are too young to understand concepts completely to communicate and teach their peers.
Use Inquiry-based learning
In inquiry-based learning, there are questions for students to answer. Sometimes, teachers generate these questions for the kids, and other times, children are tasked with doing it themselves.
There are four types of inquiry-based learning
- Confirmation Inquiry
- Structured Inquiry
- Guided Inquiry
- Open Inquiry
Confirmation Inquiry is the approach where you give students questions and a system to answer. In the Structured Inquiry, students are given a problem and an investigative method of solving it. Students get an open question in Guided Inquiry and design their investigation system, while the use of Open Inquiry approach lets students create questions and plans of solving them. These approaches provide students with the ability to think critically.
Challenge your students with problem-based learning
Teachers should use problem-based learning to see how well their children can solve problems independently. With problem-based learning, you give students open-ended problems and then put them in groups to solve these problems. While this strategy has its benefits, such as teamwork and improvement of diverse skills, it has disadvantages, including time-intensiveness.
Overall, problem-based learning challenges students and a teacher and will require that both parties devote resources to the process. However, it is a strategy that makes children more open to finding different ways to solve one problem. The use of a problem-based technique can also help your students gain transferable skills that are essential for life after school.
Teaching children is tough, but you can change that using appropriate strategies. Choose any approaches that work for you and your students from this list and modify them to fit your and your students’ needs. The strategies can make the ideas in your lessons stick, help your students build confidence, and uncover insights into their performance and needs.