The classroom brings together students from all walks of life with different strengths and personalities. Not only that, but it brings together, students with varied learning abilities with various temperaments and behaviours. To be an efficient teacher, requires the implementation of creative and innovative methods of teaching to meet each student’s individual need.
No matter how long you have been teaching, it is difficult to easily identify which teaching strategy will work best with all your students because with teaching, ‘one-size-fits-all approach does not work well and since the formative years of a child’s learning is key, this issue must be treated with all seriousness.
There are some teachers and school owners who are well aware of this concept and therefore make sure that varied teaching methods are practiced for the benefit of students and fulfilment of the teachers. Owners of Adorable Babies School, Jose Maria School and Tiny Towers School in Accra are two proprietors who do not relent at doing this at all.
There are some teachers who are aware of the diversity of students but are not sure of how to deal with them, therefore in this article, we have provided some effective teaching strategies to employ in the teaching of young students:
- Co-operative learning
This strategy helps develop the confidence, critical thinking abilities, enhance communication and learning from peers amongst students. Here, students with various abilities are made to work together in groups to perform assigned tasks. By communicating their ideas freely to their peers in the group and responding to views of other students, their confidence is boosted and thinking skills are sharpened.
This can be done through assigning students:
- Acting out short drama sketches to teach a lesson
- Solving Mathematical or Science Puzzles
- Performing Scientific Experiments
- Performing Microsoft tasks etc.
Here, teaching is done by allocating tasks to students based on the abilities and strengths they have and this is to ensure that no one is left behind. Students can therefore be grouped or given assignments according to learning needs. Those with higher academic prowess are given tasks to further stretch it while those struggling get the needed support.
This is done by:
- Handing varied worksheets to different groups of students.
- Set up a range of work stations for students to pick from on their own.
- Tools like ‘quizalize’ can assist in the grouping of students for you.
Essentially, this strategy helps close up the learning gaps in the class.
One problem associated with slow pace learners is their inability to practically visualise learning concepts to aid understanding. Bringing dull academic concepts to life visually or practically is very helpful. Aside:
The blackboards and green boards which are mainly used, cardboards, flipcharts, and technological methods such as projection of audio clips and videos can be used.
Classroom experiments on challenging topics and field trips around the vicinity of the school are also helpful.
- Behaviour management
To ensure that every student has an equal chance of reaching their full learning potentials, the use of an effective behaviour management strategy is necessary. Disruptive or noisy learning environments do not encourage productive learning. To establish a conducive learning environment:
Teachers can, as an example, create fun and interactive reward methods for younger students where individuals move up or down based on their behaviours and be rewarded for it. It will be effective to move away from the usual ‘writing of names of talkers’ to something new and challenging as this.
- ‘Silence hour’ and ‘Golden Time’ can also be implemented for older students, with a choice of various learning activities which go with rewards such as no homework or golden stars in their books in reward for their studiousness.
- Professional Development
Engaging frequently in professional development programmes is a good way of gaining access to new and helpful trends in the industry that will expose you to some of the strategies above.
Educational policies and students are constantly changing so it is becoming more and more necessary to attend events or join groups or read from educational sites ( check www.seekapor.com) that have said focus. Some of the key things to learn should include:
- New educational trends in the tech space
- Online safety training,
- How to research or find additional teaching material and more.
As digital media surrounds young people in this century, engaging your students in a language they have wholly accepted is essential. Incorporating technology into your teaching is becoming a must.
Complimenting traditional learning methods with:
- Interactive whiteboards or mobile devices, for example to help students visualize new academic concepts.
- Mobile devices can be used to teach students to perform simple and fast researches, to manage online abuse and direct students to useful sites to access out of class.
What strategies do you use to be an effective teacher? Have you got any top tips? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you.