How do we accomplish teaching, learning, and student relationships in the classroom?
This is a question we must ask ourselves daily as teachers. If we have a vision for education, we support that vision with valuable strategies and plans. Therefore, I have come up with 8 teaching practices and instructional techniques that I plan to use in my future Spanish classrooms. These methods will keep students engaged, motivated, and actively or experientially involved in the lesson for all subjects!
How to: Allow students to engage in individual and small-group thinking before they are asked to answer questions in front of the class. This practice involves four steps: 1) groups of four listen to a question, 2) students are given time to think and then write their responses, 3) pairs of students read and discuss their responses, 4) students are called on by the teacher to share their thoughts and ideas with the class.
Why?: This technique is useful because it allows students to engage with one another and formulate their own responses to the teacher’s question. This could be used as practice with interrogative Spanish words like: Qué, Cuál, and Cómo.
Positive Learning Environment: This is a great way for your students to learn about each other and learn things about you as a teacher. It displays a positive learning environment because students are interacting with each other to learn the same concept or task.
Assessment Strategies: The teacher can give an exit ticket at the end of the class period asking for a response/ answer of the question or questions that were asked at the beginning of the class.
2. STAD (Student Teams-Achievement Divisions)
How to: Students are assigned to 4-5 team members in order to review and study the material that has been given to them by the teacher. The groups are divided and even distributed with students from all different academic abilities.
Why?: This is used to generate the students’ highest level of achievement.
Positive Learning Environment: Students are helping each other review for their test or quiz. They are able to help each other with material that they know or need to look over again. Teams can earn credit or other achievement based items if all team members progress.
Assessment Strategies: At the end of an activity like this, the students are all tested individually. This could be known as a review day before the next class period which would be a test day.
3. Round Robin Brainstorming or Rally Robin
How to: There are 3 steps: 1) teacher poses a question that will have multiple answers, 2) the first student in the group will write down a response on a piece of paper and pass it counterclockwise, 3) at the end the students with the most possible correct answers receive a prize of some sort.
Why?: Develops a sense of accountability between students.
Positive Learning Environment: This activity will cover a lot of content, build team spirit in your classroom, and incorporate writing. Improves overall student cooperation.
Assessment Strategies: Responses can be collected and evaluated at the end of class.
How to: Each team member is responsible for learning a specific topic. The team will then split into groups with the same topic and become “expert” groups on that topic. After discussing with the “experts,” students will return to their original or “home” groups and explain what they learned.
Why?: Covering a wide range of topics at once.
Positive Learning Environment: Students all share their own ideas on what they learned and develop a well-rounded comprehension of the topic they had. Gives the opportunity for students to teach each other.
Assessment Strategies: At the end, the team members will be quizzed on the topics they learned.
5. Three-Step Interview
How to: Step 1) teacher presents an issue on a topic with varying opinions. Step 2) in pairs the two students become the interviewer and the interviewee. Step 3) after this first interview the roles switch. Step 4) After each student has had their turn, they will read their interviews to the class.
Why?: Effective when solving problems with no specific right answers.
Positive Learning Environment: The class gets to listen to the responses from all their peers. Should be a fun activity!
Assessment Strategies: The teacher can collect the interviews at the end of class for a grade.
6. Socratic seminar
How to: The teacher questions are open- ended and students are encouraged to use the text as evidence in their responses. Students do not raise hands to speak but begin on the spot.
Why?: Challenges students to think analytically and critically through a discussion. Careful guidance is provided by the teacher.
Positive Learning Environment: Students all engage in a discussion led by each other. They can learn from their peers by doing this.
Assessment Strategies: No assessment is necessary for this kind of assignment, unless you grade for active participation.
7. Role Play
How to: Students use different ways of representing knowledge through this technique. The better they think about and recall learning, the more they increase their opportunities to visualize, model, and role-play within a dynamic situation. Role Play is great for foreign language classes because it promotes curiosity, exploration, problem solving, and understanding.
Why?: Helps students invent, experiment, and practice interpersonal skills in a low-risk environment.
Positive Learning Environment: Allows students to work together and be creative.
Assessment Strategies: After performing a skit, the teacher can collect the skits or have them perform in front of the class.
8. Three Minute Review
How to: Used after a lecture in which the teacher will stop at any given time so students can have 3 minutes to review what has been said with a group. Students are able to ask a question to their group members or answer questions of others.
Why?: Makes sure that every student is on the same page and that they are somewhat engaged in the lecture.
Positive Learning Environment: Allows your students to learn from each other and clarify questions that they might still have.
Assessment Strategies: Used for review!