To become a more effective teacher, it’s important that you are willing to try out new strategies in and out of your classroom. We’ve compiled a list of teaching strategies that encompass many aspects of teaching, helping you to deliver powerful lessons and get all students engaged in learning.
Follow these four criteria for an effective lesson plan objective:
- Made first
- Most important.
Ask questions that seek to understand and/or further your own learning to cultivate a culture of curiosity and humility.
Begin with the end in mind
Progress from unit planning to lesson planning. Define the objective, decide how you’ll assess it, and then choose appropriate lesson activities.
Break it Down
When a student makes an error, provide just enough help to allow them to ‘solve’ as much of the original problem as they can.
Conduct mini assessments during a lesson that assess students progress towards the end goals of a unit of learning.
Move strategically around the room during all parts of the lesson.
Culture of Error
Create an environment where your students feel safe making and discussing mistakes.
Use a range of hard (student grades) and soft (engagement) data sources to support teaching and learning.
Defining Knowledge and Skills
Complete any student checkpoint/end of unit activity yourself. Unpick the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in this task to inform the direction of the unit.
Run a student activity at the start of a lesson that requires no teacher guidance. The activity should either recap previous learning or introduce upcoming learning.
When planning a lesson the teacher also plans what the students are doing at each stage of the lesson simultaneously, and in response to each other.
Ensure all instructions given are efficient, simple, specific, observable, sequential, and positive.
Manage your emotions to consistently promote student learning and achievement.
Every Minute Matters
Respect students’ time by spending every minute productively and focusing on the potential for learning, not fixating on what has come before.
Intentionally plan time for group or pair discussion during your lesson to encourage peer learning.
Higher Order Questioning
Ask open‐ended questions that require more thinking from students and promote discussion.
Holding Self/Others to Account
Hold yourself and others to account for your/their words and actions in accordance to school & classroom culture, values & rules.
‘I Do, We Do, You Do’
Convey the essence of explicit instruction and gradually release responsibility to your students using three phases:
- Explaining a task.
- Doing a task together.
- Students doing the task independently.
Plan lessons to include activities and tasks that requires all students to play an active role.
Celebrate the work of learning as you go. Find your own unique way of bringing positivity and joy into your classroom.
Leading by Example
Conduct yourself in accordance with the culture and values set at school and classroom level. If you don’t follow the rules, how can the students?
Least Invasive Intervention
Maximise teaching time & minimise ‘drama’ by using the subtlest and least invasive tactic possible to correct off‐task students.
Seek out opportunities to learn, acting upon the belief that one never stops learning.
Make Compliance Visible
Ensure students follow through on a request in an immediate and visible way by setting a standard that’s more demanding than marginal compliance.
Make Steps Explicit
Share your internal thought process with students to avoid assumptions and ambiguity.
Make Steps Memorable
Use buzzwords, bullet points, numbers, mnemonics, sequences, rhyme, rhythm, chunking and dual coding to support procedural understanding.
Must Have & Could Do
Implement ‘Must Haves’ and ‘Could Do’s’.
‘Must Haves’ are essential ingredients of a lesson to support all students’ learning. ‘Could Do’s’ are additional features that support and stretch groups of students.
Name The Steps
Break down complex tasks into simple steps that form a path for student mastery.
Open and Closed Questions
Know when to use open and closed questions and how to differentiate these for different levels. Closed questions can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, while open questions are those which require more thought than a simple one word answer.
Utilise outdoor areas and surrounding areas as alternative lesson resources to increase the potential activities possible and make learning memorable.
Own & Track
Ask students to annotate errors and be conscious of what they have learned from the process, fostering an environment of accountability.
Set aside time and encourage students to evaluate their peers’ work and have their work evaluated by peers.
Planning to the Most Able
Pitch your lesson objective to the most able students in the class and plan scaffolds to support every other student to meet this.
Guide students to do better work while motivating and inspiring them by using a positive tone to deliver constructive feedback.
Practice Makes Permanent
Based on the theory that what you practice is what you commit to long term memory, build in time within lessons for students to practice skills.
Differentiate between when students meet set expectations and when they exceed them by acknowledging when expectations are met, but praising students when they go the extra mile.
Precision of Feedback
Provide feedback on the process students have used to complete a task and on their ability to self‐regulate their own learning.
Pre‐Mortem of Tasks
Complete a task before you teach it to your students to identify which areas will need the most guidance based on common misconceptions.
Script and practice the delivery of key parts of the lesson to ensure standardization, clarity, and effectiveness. Re‐draft as necessary.
Design and establish an efficient routine for students to enter the classroom and begin class.
Use economy of language to give specific feedback against a clear assessment criteria for selected students.
Plan a brief activity or task placed between two parts of a lesson to call attention back to you as the teacher before moving on.
Think, Pair, Share
Encourage students to think individually, then to discuss with a partner before sharing with the whole class.
Promote non‐presentational talk as a method to encourage exploration of thought and support discussion of multiple ideas.
Three Before Me
Instill the routine to search for the answer from their peers before giving up and asking the teacher.
Use of Assessment Criteria
Create a set of predefined markers that measure against the unit of work and intended learning outcomes.
Use of Props & Prompts
Use audio and visual tools to reinforce and support teaching strategies.
Use of ‘Yet’
Promote the use of ‘yet’ to be tagged on the end of absolute statements and limiting beliefs - “I can’t do this yet”.
Provide timely verbal feedback to students to inform and guide their next steps.
Set clear vision & expectations for students to work towards which help to identify the steps they need to take to get there.
Allow students time to think before answering. If they aren’t productive with that time, narrate them toward being more productive, with phrases similar to:
- Think about your answer.
- Work smart, not fast.
- Be ready to explain how you got your answer.
What to do
Use specific, concrete, sequential, and observable directions to tell students what to do, as opposed to what not to do.
Willingness to Participate
Actively seek out opportunities to learn from and contribute to ongoing professional development.
Self-manage time and tasks effectively to maintain a healthy balance between work and life.
Find Out More
To find out more about how LRTT is helping to make quality education for every child a reality through the training of teachers overseas, take a look at our Training page.
- Doug Lemov, Teach Like A Champion
- Ark, Great Teacher Rubric
- National College for School Leadership | Facilitator Toolkit
- NSA | Six Steps for Effective Feedback