Cooperative Writing is a paired activity where two students complete a writing task together. Cooperative Writing can be an excellent support strategy for struggling students, students with special needs, or English Language Learners (ELLs), because it can be an opportunity for stronger writers to help their peers who might struggle with writing. For example, ELLs can learn new vocabulary from native English speakers and improve their speaking skills as they communicate together about the given topic. Or, advanced students can coach each other on ideas for providing additional detail within their sentences. Students can share ideas and collaborate verbally on the writing before drafting, which takes some pressure off the more struggling writer. It can also help to build the confidence of both students, encourage the growth of social skills, and help to improve the sense of classroom community. It's a simple, fun activity for students that maintain engagement throughout your lesson.
Classroom management involves strong routines and procedures, setting clear expectations within the classroom, assigning appropriate behavior-aligned consequences, and methods for motivating students to meet expectations. When the teacher rewards behaviors, that is extrinsic motivation. A student who experiences extrinsic motivation will follow instructions, complete a task, or meet other requirements to receive a specific reward. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation occurs when a student has an internal desire to complete a task to receive some internal reward- like satisfaction, pleasure, or happiness. Teachers must juggle a tricky balance of providing some extrinsic motivators to teach students basic and simple behavioral expectations or tasks but must also create a learning environment that heavily favors intrinsic motivation to develop children into individuals that will work hard and persevere based solely on internal rewards.
Supporting the Oral Presentation: A Checklist for Providing Feedback to Student Presentations in Your Classroom
Students will be tasked with showcasing and presenting their work in various ways throughout their educational careers. This could be activities like reciting poetry or text, presenting at a science fair, participating in debate, or presenting a final project within their content-area class. Typically, you might design your presentation rubrics to focus on what matters most in your course- mastery of the course content. Because presentations can be used as one assessment method for students to showcase mastery, you might be looking for depth of content knowledge, accuracy, or expertise in the content students are discussing and how well the presentation itself communicates the students' message. These components are critical for an effective student presentation. But the actual characteristics of an oral presentation should also not be overlooked. For students to truly be effective communicators and demonstrate their best work, they will also need to be effective public speakers. Monitoring a student's public speaking ability and providing feedback and guidance for improvement can help develop them into effective communicators that will accel above and beyond your academic requirements for a presentation.
The Four Corners Strategy is a simple verbal strategy to help engage your students and improve discussion and discourse. In Four Corners, a question is presented to the class, and students are given time to think about their responses. Students will respond to the question by standing in a designated spot of the room that represents their answer choice. Typically, you allow for each corner of the four corners of your classroom to convey an answer choice. After posing your question, students will reflect on their answer and then move to their designated corner of the room. The Four Corners Strategy is a wonderful way to encourage debate and discourse in the classroom while also visualizing students' differences in ideas. By posing questions that elicit a more open-ended response, you can encourage students to think more critically about the question and their answer and prompt them to justify their choice.
The Frayer Model was designed as a graphic organizer to help students learn the meaning of new vocabulary words. The vocabulary word is placed in the center of the page, and the definition, a picture or characteristic, example, and non-example surround the word in separate boxes. This structure allows for a visual representation of the vocabulary word that students are attempting to learn.
In a classroom context, positive affirmations are phrases and acknowledgments of positive aspects of a child’s personality, effort, behavior, or other characteristics. When affirmations are present in your classroom daily, it helps to set a positive tone within your classroom environment and enriches children’s perceptions of themselves. You may be most familiar with positive affirmations as a way for students to acknowledge aspects of themselves and use them as a mantra to help them continue to behave in a certain way. For example: “I am kind. I am smart. I am a hard worker. I am a helper. I am a leader.” Recited often, individuals may begin to have a healthier outlook on life, their character, and what they are capable of. The point of positive affirmations is to acknowledge yourself and others from a place of positivity and not criticism. This helps create motivated and happy children who value themselves, their work, and their peers.
A simple verbal strategy to check for student understanding throughout your lesson is the Student Response System and is the focus of this article. This strategy presents questioning prompts in multiple-choice or true-false format for students to answer in real-time. Students will respond to the prompts using pre-made cards with A, B, C, D, True, False, or other information to indicate their selection of an answer choice displayed on the board. The student response system can be prepared easily by cutting out printed cards, laminating them, and making them available to each student in your classroom. If you have it available at your school, there are also electronic versions of this student response system, commonly known as Clickers. Physical devices may be available for use at your school, or you may have an app or website that you can access to employ an online student response system.
Multi-sensory structured teaching involves the use of visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language we feel) tools that can enhance student learning of language. When students struggle with a language-based skill, for example, children with dyslexia that may struggle with reading, teaching in multi-sensory ways can help improve a child’s skillset in certain areas. For students who struggle with spelling due to dyslexia, ADHD, an auditory or visual processing disability, or other unknown issues, multi-sensory approaches to teaching the phonological skills underlying spelling work can help improve student outcomes. This blog article will teach one method to help students improve their spelling, regardless of the cause of the spelling issue.
The writing process can be challenging for any student, but English Language Learners tend to need increased support and careful lesson planning by their teachers for the best success in class. English grammar differs greatly from grammar constructs of other languages, and some of our common writing structures, such as a topic sentence followed by supporting details for an organized paragraph, may be unfamiliar to them. ELL students also typically have a limited English vocabulary, making it challenging to write their thoughts. Children need to comprehend many components of the writing process, including the written prompt, the piece they are responding to, or other tasks and instructions. These challenges can lead to great frustration for some students, which can even manifest as a lack of motivation. This blog article will present some considerations for designing ELL-friendly writing prompts to help set your students up for success throughout the writing process.
Our educational system is not always constructed to best support creativity. Consider the countless hours students spend studying facts, reciting definitions, or learning how to solve math problems using provided formulas. Creativity may sometimes take the backburner in a lesson when important concepts must first be taught. But creativity in instruction is not an all-or-nothing focus. Just as we need to make sure that students are learning the foundational knowledge and skills within each lesson objective, we also need to make sure that students can use those concepts and apply them creatively through experiences and activities. Often, we see students thrive most when they are provided with opportunities to apply concepts, stretch their thinking, and complete tasks “outside of the box.” Sometimes, though, this can be difficult for students. While some students have a natural, innate ability to use their creativity in meaningful ways, others may struggle with expressing creativity. But this does not mean they can’t improve! In fact, most researchers agree that creativity can be practiced like a skill and improved. Though there are many types of creative expression, one specific kind is called divergent thinking. It is a creative process that can easily be implemented into classroom activities across content areas.