Administrators and teachers are continuously looking at methods that can help students improve learning, especially for those that are a�?at riska�?. Rick Reis, in his eNewsletter Tomorrowa��s Professor, describes research based teaching methods that have been shown to be successful for “at risk” students. I will be providing summaries of the methods he has outlined in his article entitled a�?Effective Teaching Behaviorsa�?.
1. Teach for Understanding Rather Than Exposure
a�? Using this concept, the teacher needs to break down the information s/he is presenting into smaller components that are critical for understanding and presenting this information
a�? When using this approach, teachers should be considering what 1-2 key concepts the teacher wants the students to retain and potentially relate them to other key concepts that have been taught.
2. Explicit Instruction
a�? Identify key concepts, convey these concepts to students, and repeat them often.
a�? According to Reis (2013), you should a�?start each lesson by telling students what they are going to learn, the rationale, and how new material is connected to what they have learned before. Always tell students exactly what you expect of them in terms they can understand.a�?
a�? Providing students with Rubrics for assigned work provides students with an explicit range of expectations.
3. Scaffolded Instruction
a�? With this approach, a teacher provides different levels of support to the learner, until such time, the student can do the work independently.
a�? Specifically, there are three stages, as outlined by Reis (2013), referred to as a�?I do, we do, you doa�?, are:
i. a�?Teacher modelling or a�?watch me do it.a�� At this beginning stage, the teacher shows and tells students what to do while demonstrating. Usually the teacher uses words such as a�?First, I will…; next, I will…; finally, I will…a�� Teacher think-alouds are effective in demonstrating expectationsa�? (Reis 2013, A� 6).
ii. a�?Teacher and student together. At this intermediate stage, the teacher provides assistance for students, gradually reducing teacher involvement as students gain proficiency. In this stage, teachers may say, a�?Now, you do it with me,a�� or a�?Let’s do this togethera��a�? (Reis 2013, A� 7).
iii. a�?Student alone. At this final stage, the student performs the activity independently under the teacher’s guidancea�? (Reis 2013, A� 8).
4. Errorless Learning
a�? Present information at a level that students can succeed by reframing or redesigning information in smaller components and provide examples so students can more easily grasp concepts and ideas, with very little errors.
5. Active Involvement of Students
a�? Teachers can involve students by partnering students to answer questions so it does not appear threatening, use interactive methods such as a�?dry erase boardsa�? or a�?poll students with use of clicker technologya�?.
6. Providing Practice Opportunities
a�? Effective teachers also provide numerous practice opportunities for students. Most of us forget how to complete tasks we seldom practice. This is especially true for many learners in diverse classrooms who need frequent opportunities to learn new skills and concepts. For maximum effectiveness, practice must be sufficient, varied, distributed, and integrated into new learning tasks. A benefit of co-teaching is the opportunity to discuss creative ways to provide students with repeated practice.
7. Monitoring of Teacher Presentation
a�? Teachers should self-monitor not only the vocabulary they use but also the pace at which they present to ensure:
i. Students are understanding the terminology you are using
ii. Presentations have adequate scaffolding and repetition but also keep the studentsa�� attention.
8. Giving Feedback to Students
a�? Provide students with timely and corrective feedback
Reis, R. (2013). Effective Teaching Behaviors (No. 1292). Tomorrowa��s Professor eNewsletter.
Available at: http://goo.gl/LhHGcb