Instructional Strategies

Standard eight of the InTASC model, Instructional Strategies,  states that teachers understand how to use a variety of instructional strategies that encourage students to acquire a deeper understanding of content areas, their connections, and build skills that allow students to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. This includes teachers being cognizant of the various ways in which diverse learners communicate and adapting instruction to meet the needs of all students. Additionally, teachers must be proficient in using multiple methods of instruction, including the use of technology and other resources, to enhance the student’s understanding of content and make sure all students are given an equal opportunity to learn and showcase what they have learned to the best of their ability.

The foundation of effective instructional strategies must begin with knowing students, which undoubtedly takes exceptional efforts and time outside of the classroom but is absolutely worth that extra time and effort. Knowing not only the demographics of my students but also the home-life, personal interests, and extracurricular activities of these students can provide invaluable insight into how I can structure their instruction to make learning more meaningful for them 8[(a),(c),(d)]. One way in which I strive to give my students not only an opportunity to express themselves but let them know that they and their interests are important to me is to incorporate their images into our daily PowerPoints and their interests into their assignments. Below, you can see an example of the PowerPoint I designed to help build community within our classroom as well as using Cameron and his love for basketball to create a math problem that I model and work out with the class before giving them independent work; the independent practice includes other students in the class and their interests, too [8(i),(p)].

In my class, we have a lot of visual and hand on learners, so when designing a lesson about soil layers I thought what better way to get them engaged then bringing in real, live earthworms and various types of soil for them to see and touch [8(p),(q),(s)]. I followed this up with bringing in all the ingredients for them to create their own edible soil and gummy worms. In fact, I was honored that the school featured these lessons and my wonderful students on their main webpage, which can be seen in the images below. When designing lessons, I make it a habit to prepare an introductory discussion which includes a review of what we’ve been talking about as well as what our goals for the upcoming lesson are. I then model what is expected of them and follow that with giving them the opportunity to practice and explore by themselves while I circulate to make sure they’re staying on task and making the connections about the material we’re covering [8(c),(d),(f)]. Conclusion activities will involve another discussion to talk about our findings and a formative assessment so that I can document what was learned and identify areas that we will need to review [8(j),(l),(m)].

In the images from the clips of my science lesson video below, several instructional strategies can be seen. In the first image, all of my students’ hands are raised indicating they are eager to contribute and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and questions because I have worked tirelessly to incorporate strategies that promote a sense of belonging and acceptance in my classroom. In the second, they have learned to adhere to verbal and non-verbal cues; this is our “thumb’s up if you’re ready to get started” procedure and all eager thumbs are up and ready to go! The third image is part of the modeling and discussion portion of the lesson in which we take our instructions step-by-step together so that every student can see, hear, and do the activity together. In the last image, I am celebrating Sammie’s creation and praising her efforts and dedication to learning, she has come a long way in her academics and I regularly celebrate her achievements to keep her motivated and feeling loved and every student in my class is given that same love and appreciation!

For a more detailed look into instructional strategies, please click the link below:

Instructional Delivery