Strategies to Begin, Teach, Practice,
and End Your Lesson
Compiled by Donna Sears and Linda Stewart
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Begin Your Lesson Page 1
2. Teach Your Lesson Page 6
3. Cooperative Learning Strategies (Practice) Page 8
4. End Your Lesson Page 29
Students--Start Your Engines!
Just as Harry Wong says what happens on the first days of school will be an accurate indicator of your success for the rest of the year, what happens in the first minutes of your class will indicate your success for the rest of the class period. To be effective, you must be at your door to greet students, as well as have a planned strategy for providing activities that will immediately engage students as they walk in the door. Activities used to start class (which are meaningful to students) provide an “emotional hook,” that in turn fosters attention and learning. This “daily activity” and routine (bellringer, etc.) must be explained and practiced from the first time you meet with your students, so it becomes part of the “procedure” for entering your classroom. Below you will find 65 different ways to begin your class. Plan well and adapt your content for success. Vary your beginning strategies for motivation.
1. Begin Your Lesson
- Admit Slips/Entry Tickets Students write the answer to a question given by the teacher the previous day and turn it in as they enter class the next day.
- Agree/Disagree A formal approach to discussing and researching issues. As students enter the classroom, they are polled for agreement or disagreement with a statement/s and their responses are recorded in a matrix. As class progresses, students research the topic, and again their responses are recorded. Finally, small groups meet to discuss the results and changes.
- Agree/Disagree Teacher makes or posts a statement about a controversial issue. The students then line up in proportion to their agreement or disagreement with the issue. Can use 5 for strongly agree, 4 for agree, 3 for not sure, 2 for disagree, 1 for strongly disagree. Tell students to be prepared to defend their choice.
- Alphabet Summary Each student is assigned a different letter of the alphabet upon entering the classroom and asked to generate a word starting with that letter that is related to the topic to be discussed. Students share their terms with the class, partner or write it on paper.
- Analogies Post one or more unfinished analogy for students to complete as they get seated. An analogy is a thinking skill demonstrated by a student when he or she can give examples similar to, but not identical to a target. Example: Maze : confusing as enigma : _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _,
“I have a Dream” was to the Civil Rights Movement as __________________ was to _________________.
- Anticipation Guide Checklist written by teacher to activate existing knowledge. At the beginning of a lesson or unit of study, write 3-5 questions or make 3-5 statements about the topic. Students respond with agree or disagree. After the lesson or unit of study is complete, go back to the statements and see if any students would change their response.
- Biopoems Poems written by students about any specific person or object (character in book, living or inanimate objects). Its purpose is to summarize student knowledge of topic.
- Brain Teaser An activity to stimulate thinking through multiple intelligences. Can be a rebus, lateral thinking puzzle, 5 minute mystery, etc.
- Cartoons Introduce a thought, concept, skill etc. by posting, reading or creating cartoons. Cartoons can also be cut up and used as a sequencing activity.
- Classification Create packets or envelops with cut a part objects or concepts with instructions for students to pick up and complete as they enter the classroom. (When objects or concepts are classified, they are grouped with other, similar things, and the group is given a label. As a thinking skill, classification requires the application of knowledge. When students invent their own classifications, they practice discovery and invention along with being able to apply prior knowledge about the objects or concepts being classified.)
- Color-by-Number It’s not exactly color-by-number. Have a page full of words on a topic, and at the bottom, have written instructions to color or circle with particular color. (color or circle all the verbs red, nouns-blue, etc. or for Social Studies, color or outline European countries in yellow, North America in green, etc. It works well to have a box with bundles of colored pencils or crayons)
- Comparing Post or display objects or concepts, so students can observe or consider the characteristics of two or more, looking for both similarities and differences. Can use graphic organizers such as comparison matrix or Venn diagram or foldables.
- Comparison Matrix A graphic organizer handed to them as they enter the classroom or placed where they can pick it up, that can assist students in gathering information and comparing objects or concepts.
- Continuum Upon entering the classroom students take keywords (can be placed in envelopes or baggies) and arrange them to form a continuum based on a variety of criteria. For example, "beaver, rattlesnake, deer, plankton" would be arranged as "rattlesnake, deer, beaver, plankton" if asked to arrange according to their preference for water, and "plankton, rattlesnake, beaver, deer" if asked to arrange according to size.
- Contrasting Have display or words posted, etc. as students enter so they can begin class by exploring or describing differences between objects or concepts.
- Copying Have diagrams, drawings, text, motions, graphs, etc. posted and students are responsible for reproducing as they enter the classroom. Used to encourage students to look more carefully at something.
- Current Events As students enter have them respond to posted events in recent news in various ways—listing three ways it could affect them, drawing a cartoon, etc. Use responses for student discussion or student work centers.
- Daily An opener activity in which teachers post statements or any number of daily questions, problems, etc. for students to correct, finish, explain, etc.
- Driting As students enter, have a word or concept for explanation by drawing and writing. Often used in foreign language classes.
- Estimating Post questions or problems or put cut up problems in envelopes for approximate answers as an estimation review or introduction to an estimation lesson.
- Find the Rule Students are given sets of examples that demonstrate a single rule (like "i before e except after c.") and are asked to find and state the rule. You can use examples of a law or theory in math or science.
- Fishbowl Cut up questions and put in a fishbowl. Have students draw out one question from a past lesson and be prepared to answer on your signal after roll call. You can also use questions for reading and finding the answer in an assigned paragraph.
- Flashbacks Design and post one or more questions made from your subject’s spi’s or skills and use as a daily or bellringer to start your class.
- Flow Charts Have students pick up, or hand to them as they enter, a partially complete flow chart to finish. Flow charts are graphical depictions of processes or relationships. Typically flow charts include icons showing particular processes or steps, and arrows indicating paths.
- Foldables Collection points or visual paper activities that help students organize key concepts and information. Students fold pieces of paper in various ways to hold their written notes and other information. Great study tool with multiple uses in all content areas.
- Forced Analogy Have students make analogies by comparing problem term to a randomly selected term (for example, compare algebra to a cracker). Then use the new combinations to solve a problem or create something.
- Frayer Model As students enter, give them word choices for using this vocabulary development tool. Students use a graphic organizer to categorize their knowledge about a word. Squares with 4 to 6 blocked spaces work well.
- Gaps Post sentences or sequences with gaps (missing words, numbers, or symbols) and students are asked to fill in the gaps.
- Graphic Organizers Hand out to students as they enter, or have placed to pick up, a partially complete graphic organizer. Graphic organizers are visual frameworks to help the learner make connections between concepts.
- Hidden Word Game Have students find a word important to the lesson by posting or passing out sentences in which a word is hidden. For example: The school mouse ate a cherry for her morning snack. In this sentence is the hidden word TEACHER (The school mouse aTE A CHERry for her morning snack.)
- Hypotheses Have a display, post a problem, or loop a demo through LCD display so students can give a tentative explanation for patterns or observations.
- Information Transfer This activity needs to be modeled ahead of time or show an exemplar so students know how to perform. This activity involves the changing of information either from a diagram to words or vice-versa. The interpretation of text, diagram or tables is an important skill. Ex. Give students text and have them transfer the information to an organizer made by the teacher or an outline and have them write a paragraph or vice versa.
- Journal Writing Typically done for a few minutes each day. The writing is done in a notebook and is often used for exploration of ideas of interest to the students or to encourage reflection. Journal writing is typically not graded, and in some instances, is not read by anyone but the student. In other instances, the journal can be used to establish an ongoing written dialog between the student and the teacher.
- Jumbled Summary Teacher posts or cuts up and places in an envelope randomly ordered key words and phrases from a lesson. Students put the terms and phrases in a logical order to show understanding.
- Knowledge Rating A prereading strategy designed to evaluate students’ prior knowledge of a topic by having them rate how well they know the content vocabulary words. The vocabulary words are presented and students rate each word with a number—1 know it well enough to define it, 2 think I know it, 3 have heard it or have seen it, and 4 no clue. Teacher can then identify how much prereading instruction will be necessary for critical reading as well as identifying words for explicit vocabulary instruction. It also allows the teacher to differentiate instruction based on a student’s need.
- KWL "Know, Want to know, Learn" Students identify what they know about a topic, what they want to know, and after reading or instruction, identify what they learned or would still like to learn.
- Letter Writing Upon entering the classroom students are asked to write a letter to a specific person or place for specific reasons relating to prior lessons. It encourages students to think about a specific audience and practice skills.
- Listing As students enter, ask them to make lists of words, objects or ideas. Can be used to organize thoughts before a writing activity or as an assessment to demonstrate the ability to recall.
- Matching Post on board or individual slips of paper words, phrases, concepts, skills, etc. Making matches can be done in many contexts. Students can match words with their definitions or mathematical expressions with their solutions, etc.
- Metaphors Give out paragraphs, assigns pages, etc. for students to find metaphors or create metaphors. Metaphors can be used as examples by teachers, or students can form metaphors.
- Mnemonics Post a list of information to memorize and give a mnemonic phrase for students to use to remember info (sentence with words using the first letter of the key word for memory. Ex. Kangaroos Hop Down Mountains Drinking Chocolate Milk. The first letters represent K-kilometer, h-hectometer, D-decameter, M-meter, D-decimeter, C-centimeter, M-millimeter. Ask for learned info after roll call or group practice. Mnemonics is any of several techniques or devices used to help remember or memorize names or concepts.
- Modifying Provide students as they enter the classroom with models or information that are nearly correct or complete and allow students to modify the model or information to make it more complete. Useful in the classroom as a scaffolding tool.
- Pop Quiz Give out pop quiz, an assessment given without notice (graded or non-graded), as they enter the classroom or display on board. It is sometimes used as a review (non-graded), and is definitely used to motivate students to study each day.
- Predictions Display situations or problems so students can make predictions to indicate extended understanding of concepts from previous day or prior lesson.
- Questionnaires Post or hand out questionnaire as they enter classroom. A list of questions concerning a specific topic in order to gather info to use in helping you plan lessons according to student level and interest.
- Scanning Assign to each student upon entering class a section, paragraph, page etc. for reading or looking at material quickly to gain an overview of the content. Can note, share with a partner, or discuss with class.
- Similarities & Differences Either in graphic or symbolic form, representing similarities and differences enhances students’ understanding of and ability to use knowledge. Four forms to use are Comparing, Classifying, Creating metaphors, and Creating analogies.
- Skimming Use same as scanning. Reading or looking at material quickly to gain an overview of the content.
- Slip Writing Post topic so students entering can individually brainstorm on paper to be followed by sharing of the written ideas in small groups.
- Spelling Pictures Students copy their spelling words by writing them in a pattern that "traces" a picture, or purchase a professionally done Vocabulary Cartoons appropriate age level package for classroom use. www.vocabularycartoons.com
- Story Impressions The teacher posts ten to fifteen terms to students prior to reading. These terms appear in the same order that they appear in the reading. Students write a passage using the terms that they think predicts what will happen in the reading. Students share their predictions with others. Finally, students read, comparing their predictions (story impressions) with the reading.
- Story Starters Entering the classroom, students are given a prompt or story starter with guidelines for time frame, length of writing, etc. Examples of story starters: A long time ago, the old people say... or, At a time when the rivers were made of chocolate and wishes could come true... Back in the days when animals could talk... Here's a story I learnt from an owl. I told it to a king. He gave me this pin. I want to tell you now the story of … I will tell you a story which was told to me when I was a little boy/girl. In a land that never was in a time that could never be...
- Suggestion Box Useful for collecting any form of anonymous feedback of previous lesson or activity. Student opinions can be regularly collected as part of class activities, or the box could be used in the classroom as an informal method for students to make comments about activities in the classroom. Often most effective when paired with the Admit Slip/Exit Slip approach.
- Surveys Hand out a mini-survey at the beginning of a unit, topic, etc. that asks for opinions and knowledge concerning the subject material.
- Transparencies Transparencies may be used during direct instruction as a guide to the teacher, to allow them to eliminate using separate lecture notes, and also as a means to quickly show many graphics. Other uses of transparencies include: presentation of quizzes, problems of the day, jokes, cartoons, and to present problems that can then be turned over to students to complete for the class.
- Unknown Objects Display an object in class that students are unlikely to recognize. Ask students to write three questions they want to ask about it. Can be used as writing or discussion prompts, as subjects for an investigation, or even in an art class.
- Venn Diagrams Display partial Venn Diagram and have students fill in the rest. It is a form of graphic organizer commonly used in mathematics and comparisons.
- Vocabulary List Give students a word or a list of words and discuss briefly to familiarize them before they begin the lesson, story, or unit.
- Want Ads Have students write want ads. Varieties include "historical," "humorous," and as a famous character.
- What Is It? The teacher displays an object in class that is unfamiliar or has some historical significance. Students are asked to identify the object, describe how it might have been used, or how it might be related to the topic.
- Word Associates Require students upon entering class to identify which word or object is different from a series of others. Students then make a general statement to link the other words or objects. It requires higher-level thinking skills and help students identify relationships between words while recognizing categorizing factors. Examples: In these groups, which one does not belong? Explain why. • FRANCE GERMANY GREECE JAPAN • cm m in. mm • 70, 25, 13, 1035, 260 • condensation, precipitation, perspiration, percolation
- Word Search Especially for spelling words or topic vocabulary. Go to http://www.puzzlemaker.com/ to create your own word search to start class.
- Word Sort Have Word Sort packets or envelopes ready for students as they enter the classroom or display on board. Organizing and classifying words so that relationships among words can be seen is the goal of word sorts. A word sort activity requires students to categorize words. In open sort activities, the way of sorting words is not given ahead of time. Rather, students are given words to write on index cards and told to group the words together in some way. Then they discuss the different ways they grouped the words and the reasons behind their groupings. In closed word sorts, students are told how to group the words. You might say, "Sort the words according to whether they are places in South America or North America”.
- Wordsplash Prepare a collection of key terms from a written passage which the students are about to read and give as they enter the class. The terms selected represent important ideas that the teacher wants students to attend to when they actually do the reading later, but initially the students' task is to make predictive statements about how each of the terms relates to the title of the reading. Display selected terms randomly and at angles on a visual (overhead or chart). Students brainstorm and generate complete statements (not just words or phrases) which predict the relationship between each term and the topic. Once students have generated statements for each term they turn to the printed material, read to check the accuracy of their predictive statements and revise where needed. "Splash" refers to the random arrangement of the key terms around the topic at the start of the activity.
- Spotlight On Similar to "Student of the Week." The work and background of a single student is showcased to the class and students are asked to say three positive things about that person’s work.
2. Teach Your Lesson
Ways to Hook/Present/Explain Your Lesson
Research suggests there are specific strategies that will increase the likelihood that student attention will be promoted. For example, the brain is attuned to novelty, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Hook your students at the beginning of your lesson with one of the anticipatory set strategies below providing the mental set that causes students to focus on what will be learned. It can give students practice and yield diagnostic data for the teacher.
As the teacher, you are responsible for guiding students to identify and articulate what they already know, provide them with ways of thinking about the topic in advance, asking them to compare new knowledge with what they know, asking them to keep notes and/or represent knowledge in nonlinguistic ways, work individually and sometimes in cooperative groups. The method in which you present new material/topics or have students discover new information is fundamental for retention and understanding. The following instructional strategies can be incorporated into your daily lesson plans; use what is appropriate and works for you.
- Audio Tapes Educational audio tapes are most often used in language and music classes, but are also useful in social studies, physical education, and in building vocabulary in many fields.
- Audio-visuals Includes many categories of educational materials including: posters, paintings, slides, videos, films, and videotapes.
- Books on Tape Audio tapes of books that have been read aloud.
- Cartoon Lecturette Use cartoons that communicate elements of your lecturette. Display as you make related key points verbally.
- Chunking A memorization technique. Teacher shows how breaking information into parts makes it easier to recall. For example, phone numbers are broken into chunks which make them easier to remember than if they were in a 7-digit sequence. Can also be used as a writing technique.
- Class Museum Teacher and students bring artifacts and memorabilia from home to display in the classroom for a specific topic. Set parameters ahead of time. (Extremely valuable items should not be brought to school)
- Compacting This strategy encourages teachers to assess students before beginning a unit of study or development of a skill. Students who do well on the preassessment do not continue work on what they already know.
- Concept Attainment Inductive model of instruction where students are presented with examples and non-examples of a concept. Students generate hypotheses and attempt to describe (and sometimes name) the concept.
- Cueing Various means used by the teacher to let students know that particular material is important.
- Days Special days during the school year when all activities center around a theme. Ex. “Pi Day” on 3/14 or Dictionary Day on October 16th (Noah Webster’s Birthday).There are many others appropriate to content area.
- Demonstrations An activity to show students how things work or how they happen. Demonstrations are often used in science classes. Some content appropriate demonstrations/simulations can be found online and shown with LCD in class.
- Design Contests In addition to design contests within the classroom, many corporations sponsor design contests to encourage creativity and innovation at many levels of education.
- Disappearing Write definition on the board. Read definition to students. Students chorus definition back. Teacher erases a few words and a student reads out the text including the missing words. Teacher erases more words and a student reads out the entire text again. Teacher continues erasing until there is no text on the board. Students then write the definition from memory.
- Film Clips Motion picture film clips can be used to enhance learning of literature, language, or historical events.
- Five Whys? Asking a chain of "why questions," with each question deeper into the root cause of a problem.
- Lecture The reputation of lecturing has fallen on hard times in recent years. There are times for which a lecture is good such as: Cognitive modeling (The lecturer can demonstrate how he or she thinks about a problem.), Conveying personal enthusiasm for the subject, and inciting students to active learning where the lecture is the setting for activities that the students are to do. The lecture is still an efficient way to present information and can be motivating to the students (if the teacher can be motivating). But, as with all good instruction, it is important to get the learners to be active with their thought processes (active learners), otherwise you will lose their interest. Lecturing has such a bad rap because it is both overused and frequently done poorly. A lecture, used sparingly and done well (key qualifiers), can be effective. Lectures may include visual aids or note taking.
- Magazines Appropriate magazine articles, etc. can be used as a real world source of information.
- Metaphors Metaphors can be used as examples by teachers, or students can form metaphors.
- Mnemonics Any of several techniques or devices used to help remember or memorize names or concepts.
- Modeling Teacher models behaviors or skills.
- Newspapers Newspapers can be used as a real world source of content, or as a product produced by students.
- Novel Study Packet Before beginning a novel with students, go through, chapter by chapter, and make an activity sheet for each. It should include 3-5 short answer questions, vocabulary words that students need to look up, 3-5 questions to check comprehension, as well as an activity for each chapter such as, "Write a poem about this chapter," or "Draw a picture of your favorite scene," or "Put 5 of the characters' names in alphabetical order." Then staple the pages together in order to make a small booklet that each student keeps with him/her as they read the novel. This takes a lot of preparation beforehand, but the payoffs are huge! You only have to do this once for each novel, and then reuse your masters year after year.
- Outside Experts Outside experts can be used as guest speakers, volunteers to assist during projects, or as evaluators of student work.
- Read Aloud Teacher reads aloud to the class to improve comprehension, expose students to correct pronunciation, or to create positive feelings about reading or a particular book.
- Window Pane Lecturette Divide a flip chart or overhead transparency into 4-8 sections. As you lecture, draw or post graphics, symbols or images in each window pane to illustrate the point you are making. When you have completed the lecturette, remove the completed window pane. Ask students to recreate the image in each pane remembering the content associated with the image. After they have finished, share with one another and compare to original.
3. Cooperative Learning Strategies (Practice)
Keeping Your Students Engaged/ Cooperative Learning & Group Activities/Assessments/HOTS
- Active Learning Any approach that engages learners by matching instruction to the learner's interests, understanding, and developmental level. Often includes hands-on and authentic activities.
- Acronyms Memory tool. Create an acronym involving a classroom topic. When the learner is able to recall the first letter of each elements, he/she will remember the broader info. Ex. ROY G. BIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet Light Colors in rainbow; Peas—Physical, Emotional, Academic, Social. The four categories of student needs
- Advertisements Students create advertisements of: 1) What they have learned, 2) How they learned it, 3) What application possibilities the knowledge/skills have. They post their advertisements. They go shopping tour and jot down notes they wish to remember.
- Agendas These are personalized lists of tasks that a student must complete in a specified time, usually two to three weeks. Student agendas throughout a class will have similar and dissimilar elements
- Agree/Disagree Teacher makes a statement about a controversial issue. The students then line up in proportion to their agreement or disagreement with the issue. Teacher has signs which say (strongly agree, strongly disagree) Students discuss with the person next to them why they took the position they did. Examples of appropriate questions include if stem cell research should be legal in the United States, should immigration be stopped in this country, etc.
- Agreement Circles Used to explore opinions. As students stand in a circle, facing each other, the teacher makes a statement. Students who agree with the statement step into the circle.
- Analogy Make analogies by comparing problem term to a randomly selected term ( for example, compare algebra to a cracker) Then use the new combination to solve a problem or create something.
- Alternative Any of a variety of assessments that allow teachers to evaluate their students' understanding or performance. Examples include: portfolios, journals, and authentic assessments.
- Assumption Smashing List assumptions, then eliminate one. What might happen? (for example, "All forms of transportation are now free." What is the effect on society?)
- Author's Chair Students sit in a chair at the front of the class and present their work to the class.
- Autobiographies Students write their life stories or explore the lives of prominent people by reading published autobiographies.
- Autopsies Give students a chance to improve their scores by doing a test autopsy. They correct their mistakes and then write a half page reflection on why they did so poorly and what they should have done differently. They earn a half point for each corrected answer. For example, if they got 15 out of 25 and did an autopsy correcting them all, their new score would be 20. Test scores improve and the students are really taking ownership of their work.
- Baggage Claim Pass out index cards or paper with topic or vocab word written on one side or top as their “suitcase”. Have a silent 3-5 min. for students to fill their suitcase with written info describing or facts related to card. Then get up and find a partner to share their baggage with by taking turns explaining what the “suitcase: contains. Swap cards (suitcases) and find a new partner to explain and swap cards (suitcases) with. When you call time, they claim their baggage by listening to cards read aloud. You can collect cards for later use.
- Barrier Exercise Students work in pairs. Adapt a crossword puzzle so that each student has some of the answers and some of the clues and each student must find the missing clues/answers by asking their partner. Each member of pair is given the puzzle, which the other member cannot see because of a barrier such as a low cardboard screen on a desktop which is put between the two students. This activity allows students to practice vocabulary related to a new topic.
- Basket Stories With students in small groups give each group a basket with three kinds of objects from nature (flat leaves, sticks, stones...), 3 colors of paper, cut up into small squares, and pens. Discuss sequencing words (first, then, next, finally...) and common story endings and beginnings (once upon a time, once long ago, in a land far from here .. was never seen again, still lives there today...) On the pieces of paper, students write the name of an interesting place, past-time actions or events, and character names. Now, one by one, students tell stories! To create story, s/he first reaches into the basket and pull out a "person". This is main character in story. Next, pull out a "place". Whenever storyteller gets stuck, a new action is pulled out. Continue at least 4 different items have been taken from basket. All items taken from the basket must be used in the story. When the first storyteller is done, all prompts go back into basket, and next storyteller begins. Add as many places, characters, actions, or objects to the baskets as you wish. Shortcut: bring the baskets already made up.
- Basketball Write at least 25 ‘easy’ review questions. Write at least 25 ‘hard’ review questions. Buy or make a small (3-4 inches diameter) ball or you can make one with a paper wad in the middle surrounded by a few layers of masking tape. Set up the room with a garbage can in the front. This will be the ‘basket’. Place a piece of masking tape on the floor approximately 3 feet from the basket and place a piece of tape on the floor approximately 8 feet from the basket. Divide the students into two teams. Explain that each student must answer the questions given to them. Easy and hard questions will be evenly interspersed. Keep score for the questions. Easy questions are worth 1 points each and hard questions are worth 2. If a student gets an easy question correct, they have a chance to shoot for an ‘extra point’. They will shoot from the tape mark that is furthest from the basket. If a student gets a hard question correct, they have a chance to shoot for an ‘extra point’. They will shoot from the tape mark that is closest to the basket. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.
- Beach Ball A fun way of setting a purpose for reading. A question is written on each section of the beach ball.
Questions Class forms a large circle. The teacher calls out a name and tosses ball to the student. Student chooses to answer any question on the ball. The student then calls out another students name and tosses them the ball. That student may choose to add to the last answer or to answer a different question. Continue until all questions have been answered. (Example of questions: What is the title and who is the author of the story? Who are the main characters? How does the story begin? What happened in the middle of the story? How does the story end? What was your favorite part?
- Bingo 1 Students write down six words about topic or from vocabulary list. The teacher says a word. Students cross through the word if they have it. First person with all six words crossed out is the winner.
- Bingo 2 Students write six words from vocabulary of the topic. Teacher calls out the definition. Students cross off word if it is on their list. First person with all six words crossed out is the winner.
- Bingo Cards The website below will allow you to make and print bingo cards for your class. You can purchase plastic marks or make your own.
- Bio-Poem Individually written poem by answering questions or completing prompts to write a poem.
- Book Reports A factual, written summary of a book. Can be in creative forms such as poster, brochure, etc.
- Brainstorming Group process where all ideas are accepted and recorded. This is a great strategy for motivating students at the beginning of a unit of study. For example, “Tell me everything you know about the water cycle.” Students like to see their response on board.
- Brochures Students research a topic then create a brochure to explain the topic to others.
- Buzz Sessions Small, informal group discussions.
- CAI Computer-Assisted Instruction; Students learn at own pace with interactive computer programs.
- CATs Classroom Assessment Techniques: Simple, in-class activities that give both you and your students instant, useful feedback on the teaching-learning process. They can be in the form of oral responses, written responses, or signals. Everyone responds at the same time. Example of oral response: “Class, when I say Tell Me, I want everyone to say the name of this figure. Ready, Tell Me” - Use thumbs up / thumbs down for True / False questions; Agree or Disagree Cards, etc.
- Capsule Vocabulary A teaching strategy to explore vocabulary. Students listen to, speak, write, and read words related to a particular topic. These topically related words (using approximately six words works best) are presented one at a time by the teacher, who writes each word on the board, briefly tells the students about the word. After all the words have been introduced have each student copy the words onto a sheet of paper. Pair the students and give each pair a limited time (3 - 5 minutes) to try to use the words in a conversation about the topic. Students should check off the words as they're able to sneak them into the conversation. Finally, students write a paragraph about the topic in which they use as many of the words as possible.
- Carousel Teacher generates X number of questions for topic and writes each question on a separate piece of poster board or chart paper. (Note: The number of questions should reflect the number of groups you intend to use during this activity.) Post questions sheets around your classroom. Divide students into groups of 5 or less Direct each group to stand in front of a homebase question station. Give each group a colored marker for writing their ideas at the question stations. (Use a different color marker for tracking each group.) Inform groups that they will have X number of minutes to brainstorm and write ideas at each question station. Students rotate around the classroom in small groups, stopping at various stations for a designated amount of time. While at each station, students will discuss posted topics or different aspects of a single topic through conversation with peers. When time is called, groups will rotate to the next station in clockwise order. Numbering the stations will make this easy for students to track. Before leaving the final question station, have each group select the top 3 ideas from their station to share with the entire class.
- Cause and Effect A visual representation of what happened and why. Students write what happened and why in first box or circle; In the second box they tell what happened and why as a result of the events of the first box; this continues through the reading to show the relationships of the various events.
- Chants Rhythmic text, repeated orally by individuals or a group to improve recall.
- Choice Boards With this strategy, work assignments are written on cards that are placed in hanging pockets. By asking a student to select a card from a particular row of pockets, the teacher targets work toward students needs yet allows student choice.
- Choices Offering students a choice between two alternatives is a simple technique, but it's very motivating. The reality is that human beings prefer choices to singular dictation. Young people like to exercise their freedom of choice, such as, "Which kind of project do you prefer - written or oral?" These are motivators of choice - and choice works. Remarkably, this approach works equally well for both large and small issues.
- Choral Response In response to a cue, all students in the group respond verbally at the same time. The response can be either an answer or a question, or to repeat something the teacher has said. Often used in repeating of computational facts or vocabulary.
- Chunking A dividing strategy providing students with the ability to break the text into shorter, more manageable units. Teacher models and instructs in determining appropriate “chunking: indicators (i.e., examples, transition words, and paragraphing) to lead students’ independently chunking the text. Method for memorizing lists, numbers. Works best when the order of the items is not important. Keep chunks to 5-9.
- CIR (Cooperative Integrated Reading) A cooperative approach to reading in which students work in pairs for practice and to prepare for assessments. Teacher-administered assessments are not taken until the student's teammates decide they are ready for the assessment.
- Class Publication Students collaborate to create a written work to be published. Formats might include: magazine, newspaper, brochure, map, newsletter, or yearbook.
- Clock Partners Distribute a handout with a clock on it or lines for appointment times. Ask students to make “appointments” with peers. You can sign up for a specific time if appropriate) Periodically during class, you ask students to find their ___o’clock appointment to meet and discuss what has been taught.
- Cloze Procedure An activity created by the teacher to give students practice with language usage. The teacher selects a passage of text, marks out some of the words, then rewrites the text with blank lines where the marked out words were. The result is a "fill in the blank" that should be enjoyable for the student while at the same time giving the teacher information about the student's language skills.
- Clue Group problem-solving with each team member given a different clue.
- Clustering Graphic way of organizing concepts proposed during brainstorming. Similar to concept-mapping.
- Co-op Cooperative learning method where teams work to prepare and present a topic to the whole class.
- Collaborative Learning Any kind of work that involves two or more students.
- Collages Students gather images (clippings from magazines, photographs, or their own drawings) and organize them to illustrate a concept or point of view.
- Competitions Competitions can be useful in motivating some student to learn. Team competitions especially effective in the classroom if they are tied to a collaborative practice or review activity before the competition.
- Concentration Pairs of cards are created (name of concept on one, description on other for instance). Students take turns. On each turn student chooses 2 cards from face- down arrangement. Students keep pairs which they correctly identify as matching.
- Concept Map A graphic organizer used to represent related concepts and ideas. It gives students a visual “map” of the organization of ideas/concepts. Concept maps help students understand difficult passages of text through organization of the main ideas presented in the material.
- Connect Two Select 10 to 12 words or phrases you think are important for students to know prior to a reading selection. List the words on board for students to copy on small pieces of paper. Read the list of words with students. Ask students to “connect two” or choose two words they think might belong together, and state the reason, e.g. “I would connect ______ and _______ because.” During reading students will look for evidence to support or refute their connections.
- Cooperative Learning Technique for grouping students for learning including five defining elements: 1.Positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), 2.Face-to-Face promoting interaction (helping each other learn, applauding success and efforts), 3.Individual and group accountability (each of us has to contribute to the group achieving its goal), 4.Interpersonal and small group skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), and 5.Group processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how t function even better). Vary criteria and patterns for grouping, manage size, and don’t overuse. See more in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works.
- Cooperative Review Groups take turns asking other groups questions. Often conducted as a game where points are awarded.
- Corners A cooperative structure that enables students to choose and discuss a particular dimension of a topic. Post different dimensions of a topic in designated corners of the room. Examples may include –Who is your favorite character?; What region would you most like to study?, If you were the leader of your country, which issue would be your top priority? Each student selects a particular dimension in response to a question asked by the teacher and moves to the appropriate corner. Once in their corner, students pair up to discuss the reasons for their choice. After discussion, the teacher randomly selects pairs from each corner to report their thinking to the class.
- Crazy Definitions For this activity it's not essential that everyone have a complete understanding of each term, but at least a few have some idea. Pick several terms that have the best potential to be misunderstood. Tell the students to each take a piece of paper and rip it into eighths, putting their name on each scrap. Call out the first term. Students have one minute to write its definition. If someone does not know the term, they still have to write a creative definition that would be likely to fool someone else. When the students are done with their definitions, they walk silently up to the teacher and turn it in. At this point, the teacher should be choosing four of the slips: three incorrect versions and one that is correct. Read all four definitions. Tell students that they are to vote for the correct one. Write the number of votes received on each slip. Have students tally their own points. Each student who votes correctly earns the amount of points you assign. The authors of the four definitions get one point for each person who voted for the definition. You get some fairly hilarious definitions. What a bonding experience.
- Cubing A technique for swiftly considering a topic from 6 points of view, with the emphasis put on “swiftly” and “6”. Using all six sides of the cube: 1)Describe it-Look closely, describe what you see. Colors, shapes, sizes, etc., 2)Compare it-What is it similar to or different from?, 3)Associate it-What does it make you think of. It can be similar or different things, different times, people, places, 4)Analyze it, 5)Apply, & 6)Argue for or against it. Put students in small groups and let them roll until all are used.
- Cues & Questions A technique for activating prior knowledge in an informal yet effective way. It helps students retrieve information they already know about a topic. Cues involve “hints” about what students are about to experience; questions do similarly. See more in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works.
- Cushioning & Asking Teacher aims to reduce anxiety & maximize a relaxed open-mind attentiveness by announcing the study of something new today and not to feel a need to understand completely right now. Teacher then presents concept or principle. Then, teacher asks students to work on individual questions, but says “Practice good thinking, “If you get stuck, ask any friend for help.”
- Debates Debates are arguments carried out according to agreed upon rules and used in the classroom to engage students and help them make connections to the curriculum.
- Discussion Classroom discussions typically begin with the teacher describing the goal or purpose of the discussion. Sometimes discussions may be initiated by the posing of an open-ended question. Teachers can employ a number of techniques to encourage students to participate in discussions, including calling on specific people, or assigning students to be an "expert" or leader for various parts of the discussion. Many cooperative activities include a "small group" discussion as teams work together.
- Discussion Appointments Use a photocopy of a country or continent, US with states labeled or Europe with countries labeled, and have students get signatures of classmates (one per state or country) so that at a later time, teacher can ask them to get together with their Kentucky partner or their Spain partner for discussion of concept, etc.
- Discussion Web An organizer that allows students to look at both sides of an issue before making a decision based on evidence. Choose a selection that has potential for opposing viewpoints. (A transparency of the Discussion Web to be used for class review is helpful.) A question should be posed and written on the web. Can work with a partner to brainstorm responses to the question and then get with other partner to compare or can do individually then compare with another. Spokesperson for group or call on individuals.
- Dramatizing Students act out roles from stories or historical events.
- Drill Practice by repetition. Often used to reinforce grammar and basic math skills.
- Driting Drawing and writing. Used often in foreign language classes.
- DR-TA (Directed Reading and Thinking Activity) Teachers guide reading and stimulate questions through the judicious use of questions. Have students read chunked text, stop as directed, and interact with them, in order to model the behavior of good reading. Allow students to skim the text, make some predictions about its meaning, main ideas/concepts or other information. Review the title—ask for a prediction and explanation; continue through headings, graphs, maps, even pull out quotes to activate schema and provide an orientation to the text.
- Eight Square Group activity to gather information on issue/ topic discussed. Students fold a piece of paper into 8 squares. Student then search around room to find 8 people who can give 8 different pieces of information. Ex. 8 things you have learned about Ancient Rome. The person who has added the information is to sign the section they have added the information to. Debrief by asking students for the information they have gathered and who provided them with that information. This can be recorded on blackboard.
- Elevator Speech Small group activity to encourage sharing of information. Allow preparation time and then student is to give a one minute speech on what they have learned in lesson/unit. Change the audience – ex. student to prepare speech for parent, principal, another teacher
- El Zippo Game Used to review. To prepare, ask students to make up a certain number of questions and answers based upon what they have been taught. The next day the students have their notebooks and are ready to begin the El Zippo Game. It’s called 'El Zippo' because only one person is allowed to speak at a time and no one can say anything unless the speaker recognizes and calls upon them. Teacher starts game by asking a question. Students who know the answer raise their hands. The student who is called on and answers correctly takes the teacher's place at the front of the room, and the teacher moves to the student's desk. Procedure is repeated with the student asking the question and then moving to the desk of the student answering correctly.
- Envelope, Please An activating strategy used prior to beginning a new topic. Have topic of the day in envelope.
- Envoy Form students into groups to discuss topic. Select one student from each group to be the envoy. Groups discuss issue and then the envoy reports to another group and also listens to that group’s report. Envoy returns to original group and exchanges new ideas that have been discussed.
- Essays A short, written work, centered on a single subject.
- Estimation Lineup An activity designed to activate students' prior knowledge before new material is presented.
- Fan-n-Pick Teacher prepares questions over content on index cards; Put students in groups of 3 or 4; rotate positions Person 1: Fans the Cards
Person 2: Picks and reads a card
Person 3: Answers the question
Person 4: Responds to the answer, praising it or adding to it (If there's no person 4, skip it or persons 1 & 2 can do it)
- Find Someone Who A variation of the Human Scavenger Hunt. Usually this activity is used to encourage students to seek out the students in class who know the answers to specific content questions. This works most effectively if each student is an "expert" on a different topic or sub-topic than the others in the class.
- Find the Fib Team activity where groups of students write two true statements and one false statement, then challenge other teams (or the teacher) to "Find the Fib."
- Flash Cards Traditional flash cards are note cards with a question, problem, or fact on one side, and the answer or a related fact on the other side. Flash cards can be used by individual students for independent practice, or can be used by pairs of students to practice as a team. More recently, online flash cards have appeared on the Internet. Online flashcards take many forms, but typically include either a box where you can type in your answer, or have sets of answers to choose from.
- Focused Practice Important technique for practicing a complex, multistep skill or process, such as the research process, scientific inquiry, or the writing process. For example, in writing focusing on writing better conclusions, etc.
- Foldables Paper folding activities that can be implemented into the classroom as reading, study, and assessment tools. They can be used in pre-reading, during, and after reading for study guides, collection points, etc.
- Forced Choice A classroom activity in which a small number of choices are placed around the classroom and students are asked to examine all the choices, then stand next to their choice. Students selecting the same choice then discuss reasons or advantages and disadvantages of their choice.
- Four Corners Label the four corners of the room with "Disagree, Strongly Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree." Read a controversial statement and have students write on a piece of paper whether they agree, disagree, strongly agree, or strongly disagree with the statement. When all are finished writing, have students go to the corner representing their point of view. All student sharing a point of view work together to collect evident and present an argument supporting their beliefs.
- Freewriting Freewriting is a timed activity to stimulate the flow of ideas and words. Students are given a topic and must write everything they can think of about the topic. The rules are that students must not stop writing, even if they "run out of things to say," and they may not do any editing or criticism during the writing. After the time is up, you can either read the writing aloud, or scan what you have written and pull out ideas or phrases you can use.
- Games Games can take many forms, but in the classroom, any activity that involves a competition, social interaction, and some form of prize or award would be considered a game. Classroom game activities are typically not graded, and student participation is based on the desire to contribute to a team or to individually achieve some prize or recognition. Usually games have "winners." Ideally, even the "losers" of the game should feel that the experience was enjoyable. Examples: Hangman, Battleship, Win, lose, Draw
- Generating & Testing Generating and Testing Hypotheses is the most powerful and analytic of cognitive operations. This technique can be approached in a more inductive or deductive manner. Teachers should ask students to clearly explain their hypotheses and their conclusions by providing students with templates for reporting their work, sentence stems to help them articulate, ask students to turn in audio tapes on which they explain their hypotheses and conclusions, provide rubrics so they know the criteria on which they will be evaluated are based on the quality of their explanations, and set up events during which parents or community members ask to students to explain their thinking. Six different tasks include Systems Analysis, Problem Solving, Historical Investigations, Invention, Experimental Inquiry, and Decision Making. See more in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works.
- GIST Statements This strategy assists students with focusing on the main idea of the passage. Through class and group discussion, students have the opportunity to learn how others think as they state their ideas and reasons. Through this process teachers are able to check students’ understanding of summarization and determine if students can pinpoint the main idea. Assign students a short passage to read. Then have them write one statement that reveals the “gist” or main idea of the selection. Discuss with class and have students write a one sentence gist statement summarizing what the class decided was the main idea. Extensions: 1.Students engaged in reading chunked text and writing gist statements after each chunk. After completing the entire reading, students use gist statements to write a summary. 2. Have students write gist as a newsflash so that statement must be able to be read in 30 seconds or less. 3. Create visuals instead of or in addition to written summaries.
- Graffiti Walls A graffiti wall is a variation on the hot potato strategy. As with hot potato several topics or questions are written on sheets of paper are posted on the walls or floor around the room and the students move freely paper and several students work on each piece of paper at the same time. The difference however is that the large sheets or in groups from one piece of paper to the next. Give the students a signal for when they should rotate.
- Graphic Organizers Metacognitive tool in a visual form such as Sunshine Wheel, Concept Web, Mind Map, Venn Diagram, Ranking Ladder, Fishbone Diagram, Sequence Chart, Cross-Classification Chart, Right Angle, Pie Chart, and Target. Also “At A Glance” @ This Week-help kids get organized; Big Mac Paragraph Format-help kids write; Bingo Cards-printable bingo cards; and much more at the website below
- Greeting Cards Poetry writing; Students design and create greeting cards to share with friends and relatives.
- Green Light After teaching the day's lesson, assign the first part of the assignment. When the students have completed those problems they raise their hands and the teacher corrects and puts a green dot on their paper if they’re ok or a red light if they need to check their work. Green light means they can go and complete the assignment.
- Group Investigation The class is divided into teams. Teams select topics to investigate, gather information, prepare a report, then assemble to present their findings to the entire class.
- Group Summary Ask the students to state the important ideas in what they have read. List the points that the students give in the form of notes on the board. Using these notes, guide the class in constructing a group summary statement. This technique is a natural predecessor to individually created summaries.
- Guided Lecture Students listen to 15 minutes of lecture without taking notes. At the end, they spend five minutes recording all they can recall. Next, students are put in small discussion groups to reconstruct the lecture and prepare complete notes, using the teacher to resolve questions that arise.
- Guided Practice Guided Practice is a form of scaffolding. It allows learners to attempt things they would not be capable of without assistance. In the classroom, guided practice usually looks like a combination of individual work, close observation by the teacher, and short segments of individual or whole class instruction. Teacher may pose a problem, students work at desk, teacher moves around room checking progress, then works problem on board, teacher assesses mastery.
- Hands-On Hands-On means any instructional activity that is emphasizes students working with objects relevant to the content being studied. Variations include: Hands-On Science, Hands-On Math, and so on.
- Highlighting Marking key concepts with a different color to emphasize importance.
- Hot Seat Before class begins, have 3-5 “Hot Seats” selected. Students sitting in those seats will be asked to summarize yesterday’s lesson, tell the steps in a mathematical solution, etc.
- Hot Potato Hot Potato is a fast-paced group activity where each group is given a sheet of paper with a topic to brainstorm. On a given signal the papers are passed around to the next group who read what has been written and add extra ideas to the sheet. The process is repeated until the papers arrive back at their starting point.
- HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) In the simplest sense, higher order thinking is any thinking that goes beyond recall of basic facts. The two key reasons to improve higher order thinking skills are first, to enable students to apply facts to solve real world problems, and second, to improve retention of facts. In addition to the basic meaning of "higher order thinking skills"
- Hot Seat Each row of students is given a stack of cards with words. The first student to go lays them all out so he/she can see them. The teacher reads the definition. The students pass the correct card up. Other students in the row must look and see that it is the correct. The one in front holds it up and when they do so that row gets a point. Switch at least every 3 points (everybody moves up one) so one isn’t stuck in the Hot Seat. Rules: They must be seated at all times, it must pass through everyone’s hands, they must be silent before the word is announced, and they must not help the person in the “hot seat.” You may also try giving the students cards with definitions, and teacher calls out words. Can also be used with math problems and solutions
- Idea Spinner Teacher creates a spinner marked into four quadrants and labeled "Predict, Explain, Summarize, Evaluate." After new material is presented, the teacher spins the spinner and asks students to answer a question based on the location of the spinner. For example, if the spinner lands in the "Summarize" quadrant, the teacher might say, "List the key concepts just presented."
- I Have – Who Has? Students each receive a card with a vocabulary word and a definition (not the definition to the vocabulary word that is on their card). Students must be familiar with all the definitions so that they know when it’s their turn. The teacher will start out with a definition and will say out loud, “Who has the word meaning coming into a foreign country to live?”. The person who has that vocabulary word would stand and say, “I have immigration. Who has the word meaning resistance to disease?” The person with the word calls out, “I have immunity. Who has….. and so on. This game requires all students to be paying attention at all times. Kids love this game. (Can also be used with math problems /solutions.)
- “I’m Thinking of a Word” Key words are listed on board. Teacher has large index cards with words on one side and clues on the other. Give students clues: Ex. Not long after I wake up in the morning, I become this. Famished is a synonym for the word. I end with an ‘s’. I have three syllables.” Students write down their guess on a piece of paper. Then turn the correct answer toward the group. They in turn hold up their answer to see if there is a match. (key word-ravenous)
- Index Card (3x5) Each student gets a 3x5 card. They are given ten minutes to write anything (as much as they can write) on the card they wish to remember. Students pair and compare cards. They can add on to their if they wish. The cards may be used during “pop” quizzes as a resource.
- Inside-Outside Circle Review technique. Inside and outside circles of students face each other. Within each pair of facing students, students quiz each other with questions they have written. Outside circle moves to create new pairs. Repeat.
- Interviews Interviews may be by the student or may be a form of assessment of the student.
- Jeopardy Like the television game. Many variations (individual or team competitions). Board with "answers" is prepared in advance (for overhead or on large cardboard sheet). Students respond with acceptable "question."
- Jigsaw Each student on the team becomes an "expert" on one topic by working with members from other teams assigned the corresponding expert topic. Upon returning to their teams, each one in turn teaches the group; and students are all assessed on all aspects of the topic.
- Jigsaw II Cooperative activity. Basic steps: Read with group, discuss individual topic with expert groups, report back to team (to teach them what you learned in your expert group), test, team recognition.
- Keyword Memory Method In the keyword method, students generate keywords that are similar to the concepts to be memorized, then put the keywords into an arrangement that can be mentally "pictured." For example, given the task of memorizing "St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota," the student would first break up the phrase into five related words: saint paul cap mini soda." Finally the student would image their favorite "Paul" with a halo as a cap and drinking a very small soda.
- Learning Centers Individual stations where individual or paired students explore resources. Designed to extend knowledge introduced in whole group instruction.
- Learning Contracts A form of individualized, active learning, in which the student proposes a course of study to satisfy an academic requirement and a teacher checks and approves the contract. The student typically works independently until assistance is needed from the teacher, at which point it is the responsibility of the student to ask for help. This form of instruction is becoming more common in universities and in distance learning. A second variety of learning contract is sometimes undertaken with elementary or secondary students in which the teacher takes a more active role and the function of the contract is to focus the student's attention on specific skills or concepts to be learned.
- Learning Posts Areas in room are designated as “listening posts” with a particular topic or concept. Groups rotate or individuals are assigned to a post. They have 3-5 minutes to “hear” what is offered. One students reports out with a one minute summary of group’s discussion.
- Learning Stations Individual stations where individual or paired students explore resources. Designed to extend knowledge introduced in whole group instruction.
- Library Research Many projects require research in the library to enable students to supplement the information they can find in their textbooks and on the Internet. To further encourage library research, teachers can provide guidelines for projects and writing assignments to encourage students to become familiar with using resources in the library.
- Line-Up Student teams are given concepts that can be put in order. Each team member holds one concept and the members line up to represent the correct order.
- Listen-Think-Pair-Share Students listen to questions, individually think about a response, discuss their ideas with a partner, then share their ideas with the class.
- Manipulatives Manipulatives are objects used in the classroom to allow students to make connections to concepts through touch. Examples might include a bag of beans for counting, or a microscope for scientific inquiry.
- Map Making Student map making can be tied to many objectives related to mathematics, social studies, art, reading, and problem solving.
- Mark It Up Give students each a transparency sheet and have them lay it over page in their textbook. With vis-à-vis markers you can have them underline important text, words, etc.
- Match Mine Pair activity in which one student draws, while the other waits, then the second student tries to copy the drawing of the first using only descriptions supplied by the first student.
- Meaningful Sentences Given vocabulary terms, students can be shown sentences in which the terms are used in a context that helps them to understand the meaning of the terms, or as an assessment, students can be asked to write meaningful sentences containing key words.
- Medium Size Circle First, 5-10 volunteers share something important they learned. Second, volunteers remember (restate) what one first people shared. Continue until each of the original speakers have been "remembered."
- Message in a Bottle Students write a tale about an imaginary adventure or trip that has left them stranded on a desert island. Their only chance for rescue is to write a message, put it in a bottle, and put the bottle in the water, with the hope that someone will find it. Brainstorm information they should include. (For example, explain who they are, where they were going when they got stranded, where they left from, and how they were traveling.) They should also include information about where they are, such as the climate, what the island is like, what plants and animals they have seen, and how they are surviving. Record suggestions on the board or chart paper. When students are ready to begin writing, make maps available. When students finish, they place the tales in the bottles and set afloat in water. (children’s pool) You may want to arrange with a teacher of another class to have your tales sent there. Then the students in that class can try to figure out who is the writer of each tale.
- Millionaire Game To review material play “So You Want To Be A Millionaire.” Instead of one person answering all the questions, pick students at random. No one knows who will be picked until after the question is read. The reward is ½ extra credit points for everyone in the class and the penalty is ¼ extra credit points lost for everyone in class. The life lines are: (1) Phone a friend. (Ask someone else in class) (2) Poll the entire class. (3) Ask the teacher. (4) Ask for the question to be repeated. Once a lifeline is used, it cannot be used by anyone else. Do the cheer, 'Is that your final answer?'
- Mix and Match Students make pairs or sets from randomly ordered objects or concepts on cards.
- Mix-Freeze-Pair Can be used as a matching game for review. Each student gets a card. Students switch cards until the teacher says freeze. When the teacher says freeze, students must find their partner. Check random (or all) pairs for correct match. (cards may have words / definitions, problems / solutions)
- Mock Trials Students learn about the legal system by assuming the roles of lawyers, witnesses, and judges to act out hypothetical legal cases.
- Most Important Word A during reading strategy in which the teacher reminds the students to think about the "most important words" for a particular reading assignment. The teacher gives some examples of some important words, then students work in groups to identify others.
- Move-Freeze-Pair When students need to be physically active. Have students move around the room, Freeze on your signal, then Pair with someone close by to give and/or receive information.
- Music Four key times to use music: 1) Before class begins-music sets the emotional tone, promotes interaction; 2) While learners are physically moving--up tempo music motivates and encourages learners to mobilize; 3) While learners are talking in pairs or small groups—provides a pad; 4) After class concludes—leaves a final positive impression
- Newspapers Newspapers as a real world source of content, or as a product produced by students.
- Nonlinguistic An important aspect of learning using techniques that generate mental pictures to go along with information, as well as creating
Representations graphic representation for that information. Including Creating graphic representations (a variety of graphic organizers), Making physical models ( concrete representations, manipulatives, exemplars), Generating mental pictures (imagination), Drawing pictures and pictographs, and Engaging in kinesthetic activity (physical movement). See more in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works.
- Note-Taking The process of recording information presented by a teacher for the purpose of improving recall or understanding by the student. Notes typically include a combination of direct quotes of what a teacher says, diagrams, and additions by the student to add emphasis or to indicate areas where outside study may be required.
- Numbered Heads Each student is assigned a number. Teacher poses question. Students huddle in their groups to make sure all can respond, teacher calls a number, the student with that number answers for the group.
- Online Assessments Teachers can go to the website below to find various prepared assessments according to grade level and skill, including TCAP, Gateway, EOC, ACT, & SAT
- Oral Presentation Oral presentations are a form of direct instruction. Lectures are the most common form of oral presentation in the classroom. Other forms of oral presentation include talks given to describe a project or research findings.
- Outlines An outline is a skeletal version of some larger presentation or writing. Outlines usually include phrases or sentences that are critical to the topic and are arranged in the same order that the concepts will be (or were) presented in the final version. Outlines may be used to guide the creation process in writing or planning, during a lecture to help students follow the concepts being presented, or by students in their note-taking or studying.
- Pair Problem Solving A problem-solving technique in which one member of the pair is the "thinker" who thinks aloud as they try to solve the problem, and the other member is the "listener" who analyzes and provides feedback on the "thinker's" approach.
- Pair Project Pair projects take two basic forms. In the commonest form, two students work together to accomplish some task. The task may be to produce a tangible object (like a poster or model) or may be to make a presentation to the class. The more global form of pair project is for classes in different parts of the world to collaborate on a project. The students perform similar activities in both locations then compare results.
- Pairs Check Pairs work together and check each other's work.
- Pairs Worksheet Students with partner. One does odd; one does even; one partner watches as the other partner works and explains the process, then the roles reverse. Student turn in 1 paper and both get the same grade.
- Panels In a panel discussion, a small group acts as experts to answer the questions of the people in the larger group. In a classroom setting, students are selected to become experts on a topic and are given at least a day to prepare for the discussion. Panel discussions can also be held using outside experts.
- Paper Pass Students each develop two review questions on separate index cards or paper, and put the answers on the back. They autograph their card. They pass their cards to one another as music is played in the background. They may sit or stand as they do this. When music stops, each class member must take the card in hand and answer the question. Then flip it over to check their answer. Continue passing left, right, etc. while music plays.
- Paragraph Shrinking Partners read in pairs. For the first paragraph, one reads and the other summarizes by stating the main idea of that paragraph. The partners then switch roles for the second paragraph.
- Partner Reading Pairs of students read together and the listener corrects the active reader.
- Password Objective: Students will be able to identify vocabulary words with one word clues. Procedure: Write words on individual 3x5 cards. Divide class into two teams with each team choosing the first giver and receiver. The giver tries to get the receiver to say the word by using one word clues. (Synonyms are real handy to know.) Givers and receivers are changed if the giver has to pass (does not have a clue) and the receiver is changed when the receiver has missed two words. Team with the most correct wins
- Peer Editing Students read and give feedback on the work of their peers. Peer editing is not only useful as a tool to improve students' analytical skills, but also provides students with an alternative audience for their work.
- Peer Evaluation Students evaluate presentations or work of fellow students.
- Peer Questioning Students ask questions of each other. Often occurs during student presentations.
- Peer Teaching Each learner reads a different selection and then teaches the essence of the material to his or her randomly assigned partner.
- Personal White Boards Whiteboard (shower board) purchased at a hardware store and cut into individual whiteboards for students. Have a procedure for picking them up or handing them out as well as a marker & wiper to go with it. Students can then write an answer, work a problem, perform a skill, etc. for instant feedback or assessment
- Photographed Current brain research tells us that things are most often remembered when they have been experienced or visualized. With this strategy, drama is combined with vocabulary development. A student chooses one of the vocabulary words and creates a frozen representation of the word. For example, a student would strike a pose to convey the word "timid."
- Photo Journalism Can be used as assessment. Students chronicle events through pictures and reporting.
- Pictionary Students create visual representations of vocabulary words. Class is divided into two groups. Teacher is the host. A player from each team steps up to the board. Player 1 is given a keyword to draw. Team members hopefully guess. Points awarded. Team two does the same. Words are put into categories so the game progressively gets more difficult. It’s nice to have different colors of markers. Also, if you use chart paper you can keep the drawings on the wall.
- Pictorial Autobiography Students create collages representing their interests, background, or culture. Students can either share them and explain them to the class, or post them anonymously to allow students to try to guess which collage belongs to which student.
- Placemat Group activity for sharing of ideas. Divided large piece of paper into sections- 1 section per group member. Draw a circle in the middle of the paper. Each group member writes ideas about issue, or topic in their section. As each group member shares with rest of group, the person to the right of speaker summarizes and records speaker’s main points in circle.
- PMI Plus/Minus/Interesting. Group students. Give each group 3-column organizer with headings Plus/Minus/Interesting for recording responses to three questions about a topic assigned by the teacher: 1.What are the positive ideas about this? 2.What are the negative ideas about this? 3. What is interesting about this? This strategy can be used within a range of classroom activities such as analyzing texts or examining issues.
- Positive Profile Students analyze characters from reading by completing a personality evaluation form that includes positive characteristics such as "hobbies," "strengths," and "smartest action performed."
- Posters Students create posters on topic according to teacher guidelines.
- Prediction Pairs Students are paired as they listen to the teacher read a passage aloud. At each pause in the reading, the teacher prompts students to discuss with their partner what they predict will happen next in the reading.
- Preposition Creativity activity: list of prepositions (above, in, because, opposite) is interposed between two lists of words, then try to make
Creation sense of the combinations. Used to generate novel solutions to problems.
- Presentations Students prepare presentations on topic according to teacher guidelines.
- Previewing the Text Previewing the text provides an opportunity for readers to skim through the text before actually reading. This strategy provides students with a mental outline of the text they will be reading. Previewing will help students improve their comprehension and should be used automatically whenever students are faced with a new text.
- Projects Students prepare: a dance, a letter, a lesson, advertisement, animated movie, annotated bibliography, art gallery, block picture story, bulletin board, bumper sticker, chart, choral reading, clay sculpture, code, collage, collection, comic strip, computer program, costumes, crossword puzzle, database, debate, demonstration, detailed illustration, diorama, diary, display, edibles, editorial essay, etching, experiment, fact tile, fairy tale, family tree, fiction story, film, filmstrip, flip book, game, graph, hidden picture, illustrated story, interview, jingle, joke book, journal, labeled diagram, large scale drawing, learning center, letter to the editor, map with legend, mazes, mobile model, mosaic, mural, museum exhibit, musical instruments, needlework, newspaper story, non-fiction, oral defense, oral report, painting, pamphlet, pantomime, papier mache, petition, photo essay, pictures picture story for children, plaster of Paris model, play, poetry, political cartoon, pop-up book, postage stamp, commemoratives, press conference, project cube, prototype, puppet, puppet show, puzzle, rap, radio program, rebus story, recipe, riddle, role play, science fiction story, sculpture, skit, slideshow, slogan, soliloquy, song, sound, story telling – Tall Tales, survey, tapes-audio-video, television program, timeline, transparencies, travel brochure, venn diagram, web home page, working hypothesis, write a new law, video film, and others.
- Puppet Puppets are useful for role play and presentations.
- Puzzles Student created puzzles can be used in a variety of ways. Ex. Have students draw map of continent with countries labeled. Then they cut up, place in baggie and pass to partner.
- Outcome Sentences Have students complete outcome sentences to express what they learned from the lesson presented. Es.: I learned. . . ; I was surprised. . . ; I’m beginning to wonder. . . ; I rediscovered. . .; I wonder. . .; I feel. . . ; I think I will. . .; In order for this strategy to work effectively, outcome sentences should be varied—never repetitive.
- Presentations Can be used as assessment. Student presents information is chosen pre-approved format.
- QAR Question/Answer Relationship or QAR helps students understand different levels of questioning and the relationships between questions and answers. Often students respond to questions with either a literal answer or by stating that “it” is not in the text. QAR provides four levels of questions: 1.) Right There!—The answer is found in the text. The words in the questions can usually be found in the same sentence with the answer, 2.) Think and Search!—The answer is in the text, but the words are probably not in the same sentence. Read the text; look for ideas that can be put together, and think about what the author is saying; 3.) The Author and You!—The author provides ideas and makes students think, but connections to students’ knowledge are needed to answer the question, and 4.) On Your Own!—Students must apply their own knowledge and what has been learned to answer the question.
- Question, All Write The teacher asks a question, all students reflect and make their own notes. An example is “What makes for a good paragraph?
- Questions Have students apply "who, what, when, where, why, how" to all problems. Or ask students to generate questions.
- Questioning (from Ron Walker) Used raised hands only for difficult questions; use Call and Respond for material that should be mastered. Remember to give wait time after each question, and ask follow-up questions; Why? Do you agree?
- Quickdraw Pair activity in which students have a short period (typically 30 seconds) to share all they know by writing with symbols or drawings.
- Quicktalk Research indicates that the act of talking about the things we learn moves short-term memory data into long term memory. First, students are numbered off as ones or twos. Say, "Number 1’s raise your hands. Turn to your partner and tell them what you know about ____. You have thirty seconds. Go!" Once 30 seconds have gone by, regain the attention and then say, "Alright, Number 2’s, it’s your turn to share what you know. You have 30 seconds. Go!"
- Quickwrite Cousin to Quicktalk except students have a short period (typically 30 seconds) to share all they know by writing
- Quiz-Quiz-Trade Students quiz a partner, get quizzed by a partner, and then trade cards to repeat the process with a new partner. Teacher or class creates a set of cards based on the content to master. Each card has a matching card. For example, to learn vocabulary, one card would be the word and the matching card would be the definition. Each student receives one card. Stand Up-Hand Up-Pair Up. With cards in hand, all students stand up, put a hand up, and find a partner. Partner A Quizzes. Partner A quizzes Partner B. For example, if Partner A has a vocabulary word, he/she asks his/her partner to define the word. If Partner A has a definition, he/she reads the definition and asks his/her partner to identify the word defined. When done, students trade cards and get ready for another round. Repeat a number of times.
- Randomized In situations where the teacher wants to ensure that all students have an opportunity to answer questions, the teacher
Questioning creates note cards with the students' names on them, then shuffles the cards. AFTER asking each question, the teacher reveals the name of the student chosen at random to answer the question.
- Raps Songs about class topic written and presented by students.
- Reader's Theater Students adapt some of their reading to present to other students in the form of a play. These productions can be simple or elaborate and include posters, programs, sets, and costumes.
- Read Aloud Done by the student or the teacher is a helpful technique for improving reading skills and engaging readers of all ages. Hearing the text while looking at it on the page helps many readers process the information more effectively and understand how it should be read. Reading aloud also develops students’ language sense as they hear the way words are used, pronounced, and interpreted.
- Reading for A type of reading in which learners interact with text to collect information, or to improve their understanding of specific topics.
- Reading Roadmap Map to guide students in their reading. Shows when to skim, when to read carefully, questions to consider.
- Reciprocal Teaching This strategy involves four components: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. Begin with the generation of a summary statement, considered a “first draft” of a summary. Proceed with the questioning, clarifying, and predicting phases to engage students in analysis activities. Students take turns being the teacher for a pair or small group. Teacher role may be to clarify, ask questions, ask for predictions, etc. or form pairs, one A and one B. After a chunk of content has been presented, ask A;s to rehearse half of what was presented. Invite B’s to rehearse the remaining half. The teacher circulates as pair partners rehearse, correcting any misconceptions or answering question. Teachers can ask content/process questions to the entire class.Class can respond chorally or with cards they hold up, etc. Instructional techniques to address students’ attitudes and beliefs through reinforcing effort and providing recognition. Teaching about Effort and Achievement and Keeping Track of Effort and Achievement are important components. Recognition through Effective Praise vs. Ineffective Praise is the other half of this important strategy. See more in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works.
- Relay Summary Team activity to summarize reading. One team member writes one sentence summarizing reading then passes page to teammate. Continues until everyone in team has added at least one sentence.
- Reports Use exemplars and models and go over rubric for success.
- Research Papers Use exemplars and models and go over rubric for success.
- Research Project Use exemplars and models and go over rubric for success..
- Retelling Provides an opportunity for readers to process what they have read by organizing and explaining it to others. It develops students’ story grammar because they must identify crucial points and the support information. Also reinforces sequencing since it demands remembering information, events, and processes.
- Revising Students can learn by revising their own work, or by revising the work of others.
- Rivit Pick six to eight important words from reading. Begin by writing numbers and drawing lines on the board to indicate how many letters each word has. Fill in the letters to the first word one at a time, as students watch. Stop after each letter and see if anyone can guess the word. Once someone has guessed the correct word, ask him or her to finish spelling it and write it on the board. Begin writing the letters of the second word, pausing for a second after writing each letter to see if anyone can guess the word. Continue in this fashion until all the words have been completely written and correctly guessed. Have students make prediction about reading based up on the words. Board at the beginning looks like this: 1._ _ _ _ _
2._ _ _ _ _ _ _
- Role Play Students play the role/s of established person or character.
- Round Table In groups, students write down their thoughts, solutions, and ideas. Pass the paper around the group. As each person reads, they initial if they agree or leave blank if they do not. When paper returns to owner they read ideas and review own thoughts to present an argument using new and different ideas.
- Round-Table Discussion At a table, 4 or 5 participants informally discuss topic among themselves and with the audience.
- Rotating Review Teacher puts headings on poster board or paper for review. Rotate posters around classroom from group to group. In groups, each individual must add one thing they remember about the heading. Posters rotate around room until all groups have seen all posters. Use different color markers for each group to track.
- RSQC2 (Recall, Summarize, Question, Comment, and Connect) A summarization technique in which students Recall (list) key points, Summarize in a single sentence, ask unanswered Questions, Connect the material to the goals of the course, and write an evaluative Comment.
- Rubrics A tool for assessment. Teachers can go to the website below to customize a template for projects, etc.
- Say It Encourages students to put themselves in the place of characters. It can be done in groups or as a class. The first person nominates another student to answer a question by giving the reference from the teacher made grid of questions. When that student has answered she nominates another student until the grid has been completed. (Ex. of questions “You are the grandfather. What was special about seeing the rainbow?”
- Self-Assessments Students reflect on their performance and self performance. Can be rubrics, checklist or questions.
- Scaffolding Providing temporary support until help is no longer needed. Can take many forms (examples, explanations, organizers, etc.) but needs to build on student's existing knowledge.
- Scrapbook Can be used as assessment. Student put events, pictures, etc. in scrapbook form.
- Script Student-generated scripts and screenplays.
- Scavenger Hunt Can be done on the Web or in text for lesson.
- Self-Assessments Students reflect on their performance and assess themselves.
- Send A Problem Each student in group puts a question on one side of an index card and an answer on the other side. Stack cards question side up, place in envelope, and pass on to the next team. Those team members pass the cards out. A team member from group number one reads its question first. The team discusses the question, then, if they have consensus, the card is turned over. If the team does not agree with the answer, they can write an alternative answer on the back of the card. The team continues until all cards are read. Collect and pass to the next group. After the cards are returned to the original writers, discuss any alternative answers.
- Sequencing Choose reading material appropriate for your students; short books or short stories. Use two works unfamiliar to your students. Pair students. Give one student story A, and story B to the other, and have them read the story. Have students list the order of events in the story. Students rewrite their list, jumbling the order of events. Students exchange papers. Have students sort the order of events they have received from their partner. Additional exercise: Students can write their own story based on the events they have just sorted. You can then lead a discussion contrasting students' writing with the original stories. Options/Variations: Use readings of historical events and discuss how history would have been different if certain events had taken place in a different order.
- Set Objectives & Used in a precise and sophisticated way, goal setting and feedback enhances students’ learning. Goal setting is the process of establishing a direction for learning to realize both short-term and long-term desires. Feedback is a technique providing students information on how well they are doing. It should be “corrective” in nature, timely, specific to a criterion, and can be student generated from rubrics.
- Share-Pair Circles Divide class into two equal groups and each group forms a circle. The inner circle faces outward and the outer circle faces inward, to form pairs of facing students. In response to teacher questions, each pair discusses their ideas, then one of the circles rotates to create new pairs. Repeat until the original pairs are again facing each other.
- Shared Writing Each student contributes one or two sentences to a story written by the whole class.
- Silent Reading
- Silent Scavenger Hunt Good for review of multiple pages of practice done under time restraints.Teacher numbers one side of index cards for as many students as are in class plus 2-4 more. On the other side of the index card, teacher puts partial list of correct answers with page number where they are found. Cards are placed number side up on students’ desks (one card per desk with extras placed on tables, etc.) On signal students start by turning over the card on their own desk to check answers and change any incorrect on their paper with absolutely no talking. When time is up, students turn the card back to number face up and leave it on their desk. Next, with signal, students get up to find the next number and bring the card back to their desk, check the new set of answers against their own and wait for signal. On some cards teacher can leave blank and instruct upon questioning to use that time to look over their existing answers or blanks. Start with 45 second intervals, then 30. End by explaining learning can take place without speaking.
- Sitters and Movers Number students 1’s and 2’s down rows or across seating arrangement. Have two lists of questions, one for the 1’s and another for the 2’s. Take turns asking questions and when finished or on signal, let 1’s stay seated and 2’s move to next partner. Continue moving until all questions are answered.
- Skill Inventory There are two basic formats for a skill inventory. Individuals may either generate their own list of skills, or individuals may "check off" skills they possess from a list of skills. Used as a self-assessment in many fields but most often used as part of career exploration or professional development.
- Snowball Teacher assigns each pair of students a word (A/B partners). Student A writes the word. Student B writes the definition. After all students have finished, each student crushes his/her piece of paper into a "snowball." Definitions go to one side, words on the other. When teacher signals, students throw their snowball toward the middle of the room. Each student picks up the snowball closest to him/her and reads it. Students then try to find the match to the word of definition on the snowball.
- Somebody Wanted But So After reading activity that uses a graphical organizer to help students evaluate character ("somebody"), motivation ("wanted"), conflict ("but"), and resolution ("so").
- Speeches Use a ready made rubric or make you own. Discuss with students the requirements for success.
- Spelling Notebook A student-generated list of words maintained by the student to remind them of words they need more work on.
- Spider Map A form of graphic organizer to help students see the relationship between details and the main topic.
- Spongy Vocabulary To review vocabulary in any subject, take strips of masking tape and tape them to a rectangular sponge. Use a marker to write the vocabulary words on the tape. Have the students toss the sponge around the room to other students. The words that get chosen can depend on which finger is touching a particular part of the sponge. For example, if a student's left finger lands on a specific word that is the word they must try to define.
- SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)
- Stations Using stations involves setting up different spots in the classroom where students work on various tasks simultaneously. These stations invite flexible grouping because not all students need to go to all stations all the time.
- Sticker Partners Hand out questions, vocab, etc. with a sticker at the top. Have two of each kind or color so they must find their matching partner for whatever the assignment.
- Sticky Reading During reading strategy. Give each student a large sticky note. Students are to write down any unfamiliar words that were not introduced when going over vocabulary and the page number where the word was found. After students have finished reading, discuss the words they have written. Reread passage that includes word, looking for context clues to help with the definition. Look up word in the dictionary. Read the definition and discuss it.
- Stir the Teams Students are assigned to teams and each student in the team has a number (typically 1 through 4). Teams discuss their group answer to the teacher's question, then when the team is done they give a signal. When all teams are done, the teacher calls a number (from 1 to 4) and the students with that number rotate to the next group to share their team's answer with their new team. The procedure then repeats through the series of questions.
- Story Impressions The teacher presents ten to fifteen terms to students prior to reading. These terms appear in the same order that they appear in the reading. Students write a passage using the terms that they think predicts what will happen in the reading. Students share their predictions with others. Finally, students read, comparing their predictions (story impressions) with the reading.
- Story Method for Memorization Each word to be memorized is included in a story made up by the student.
- Story Pyramid Using the pyramid word format to respond to reading. Adapt to your content area. Add as many levels as needed.
One word reaction
Two words describing main character
_____ _____ _____
Three words describing the problem
_____ _____ _____ _____
Four words describing the solution
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____
Six words describing the moral of the story
- Story Starters Writing activity in which students are given a prompt or story starter. Examples of story starters: A long time ago, the old people say... or At a time when the rivers were made of chocolate and wishes could come true... Back in the days when animals could talk... Here's a story I learnt from an owl. I told it to a king. He gave me this pin. I want to tell you now the story of … I will tell you a story which was told to me when I was a little boy/girl. In a land that never was in a time that could never be...
- Story Structure Review Students are asked to recall key features of a story using a blank story map.
- Story Telling
- Story Telling/Retelling Teachers read stories to students then students retell the story by acting it out, answering questions, or writing about the story.
- Structured Note-Taking Students are given a graphic organizer in which to record notes.
- Student Response Groups Small groups of students who provide peer evaluation of the work of the other students in the group. Useful for writing or other creative projects because it gives the author an audience to experiment with before submitting work to a larger audience or for evaluation.
- Students Writing Having students write test questions is a very adaptable technique that can be used for all subjects.
Test Questions Steps: In groups or individually Students:
RICA Method Read or study a passage or graphic.
Identify relevant information.
Create a connected question and correct answer.
Add 3 distractors (incorrect answers)
Tip: Remind students that incorrect answers should be plausible. In the beginning, it may be best to have students create questions with correct answer and teacher create 3 incorrect answers.
- Study Groups
- Study Guides Guide prepared by teacher to help students study for test.
- Student Made To help students review for exam, divide the class into the number of units covered. Each group has about twenty-five minutes to prepare one overhead transparency with the most important information from the section. At the end of class, each group shares their overhead with the others.
- Stump the Teacher 1 Game where students make up questions based on a reading assignment. The teacher gets a point if he or she can answer the question, and the students get a point if the teacher fails to answer the question.
- Stump the Teacher 2 Have each student find a spelling word for the teacher. They can choose any word from the dictionary, but they have to be able to pronounce it, give the definition, part of speech, the origin of the word, and use it in a sentence. Teacher then attempts to spell the word. This strategy not only gives students practice in all the uses of a dictionary, but also they observe the teacher model the steps in spelling a word: sounding it out, looking at the number of syllables, matching consonants and vowels to the sound.
- Summarizing and Note Taking Useful academic skill requiring students to distill information into a parsimonious, synthesized form. Must have classroom practice in summarizing to check student skill level. Use Marzano rules—Delete trivial material that is unnecessary to understanding; Delete redundant material; Substitute superordinate terms for lists; and Select a topic sentence, or invent one if it is missing. Also, can use The Narrative Frame in fiction summary. The Topic-Restriction-Illustration Frame is another summary technique used in expository material. T-T-I pattern can have a number of questions Topic (T)—general statement about the topic to be discussed; Restriction (R)--limits the information in some way; and Illustration (I)—exemplifies the topic or restriction. Two more techniques are The Problem/Solution Frame and The Conversation Frame from Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works.
- SQ3R Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. A study strategy. Primarily used with selections from textbook or articles with headings. It provides a systematic way to approach informational text prior to reading. An approach to studying and reading to improve comprehension and retention.
- Task Cards Specific instructions or guides for student use at learning centers. May be an assignment, or how to practice skills.
- Team Games Tournament Divide class into several groups and have groups sit in a circle. Each group is given an answer sheet in an envelope and an envelope containing questions cut into strips. Movement and Turns rotate clockwise. Starting person draws a question out of the envelope, reads it aloud, and gives an answer to the group. The person on his/her right person picks up the answer sheet after the answer is given to check to see if answer is correct. If the person on the left of person with question challenges the answer, he/she may give a different answer. Whoever is correct keeps the question as a sign they got it correct. If neither gets it correct, it goes back into the envelope. Next person draws out another question, reads aloud, gives answer to group. Person on their left checks, and the game goes on. At end of game or on signal, teacher sees who has most points (number of correct questions) or just gives extra credit, etc. for correct answers.
- Team Projects Students work in teams to accomplish a task (either learning, or creating a physical product).
- Telephone One student is chosen to leave the room while the teacher teaches a short lesson to the rest of the class. The absent student returns and is taught the lesson by the students. The student who was absent is given a (typically non-graded) quiz. Results of the quiz are used for reteaching.
- Television Educational television programming is used in the classroom.
- Test A Friend Have students formulate and write test questions on one side of their paper and put the answers on the back of the same paper. On signal they exchange with someone and take their test, writing the answers on a clean sheet of paper and labeling with the test maker’s name. Then they check their answers by looking on the back and marking the number they have correct. Then they exchange with another student and take a new test and check. After they have exchanged three to five times, stop and collect answer sheets to see how they do.
- Think Ink Pair Share Like Think-Pair-Share but with writing component.
- Think-Aloud Teacher describes own thoughts while reading aloud to class to help readers better understand what they are reading by forcing them to think about what they read as they read it. Think aloud strategies are not a sequence but a set of habits of mind common to all effective readers which, if used well, can help readers make sense of a wide variety of texts in different media and of varying complexity. They are predicting, describing, comparing making connections, monitoring and correcting, questioning, clarifying, applying previous or new knowledge, identifying what is important, troubleshooting and problem solving, speculating, philosophizing, estimating, etc. Can also be used as an informal assessment of students’ thinking and comprehension.
- Think-Pair-Share Teacher poses a problem. Students think individually, then pair (discuss with partner answers), then share ideas with class.
- Three-Stay One-Stray Students are in groups and each group member has a number (1-4). After the problem solving discussions are complete and all team members indicate that they can give the team's report, you designate the student from each team who will "stray." (Ex. Say, “Numbers twos stray; everyone else stays”)That is, the one student from each group designated as #2 leaves it and rotates to another team to give the report.
- Three-Two-One (3-2-1) Writing activity where students write: 3 key terms from what they have just learned, 2 ideas they would like to learn more about, and 1 concept or skill they think they have mastered.
- Three-Two-One Oral activity. Students give the same talk to three different students with decreasing time to do it. Students work in pairs. Student A talks to Student B and has a time limit of 3 min. B listens and does not interrupt. When the 3 minutes are up, teacher says, "Change partners". Student A then moves to a new Student B. Teacher says "Begin" and Student A gives exactly the same talk to the new partner but this time has only 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes are up, the teacher says "Stop. Change partners." With a new partner, Student A now has 1 minute to talk. During the three deliveries of the same account, the B students do not talk and each listens to three different people. When the A students have given their talk three times, the B students can now go through the same sequence, this time as speakers. Could also be 4-3-2
- Three Step Interview A cooperative structure in which teammates interview one another on a particular topic. Consists of an interviewer, a responder, and a recorder. Roles rotate after each interview. In a team of three, partner A interviews B, while C records key aspects of the response. Roles rotate after each interview, allowing all members the opportunity to be interviewed. In a group of 4 – A interview B while C interviews D. Reverse roles so that B interviews A and D interviews C. Reconvene group with each person sharing partner’s response.
- Tic-Tac-Toe Divide class into teams. Write the numbers 1-9 on the board in a tic-tac-toe arrangement. The students call out a number and you have a list of words assigned to 1-9. They must give the correct definition to take the space.
- Timed Drill
- Timed-Pair-Share Pair activity with time limit.
- Timelines Students create a timeline writing and illustrating significant events with each section of the timeline. Take 2 unsharpened pencils and tape to each end of the paper. This allows students to roll up their timeline like a scroll and tie together with a piece of yarn. Use freezer paper cut in long strips. Make a timeline of their own life, a story or book they’ve read, or for history.
- Toss a Question/ Form of review of what students have learned. They can form questions and responses from memory. Use a soft ball (like a nerf ball) Explain that they will be practicing the questions and answers you have been studying. Begin by throwing the ball to one student and ask her/him a question. The student who catches the ball must give an appropriate answer. She/he then must ask another question and throw the ball to another student. The student who catches the ball must give the appropriate answer and ask the next question, and so forth.
- T-Notes Provides students an organized method of note taking while listening or reading. Students divide a sheet of notebook paper in half. While listening or reading, students record words or key points in the left column. In the right column, students record definitions or explanations of key points.
- Transformation of Text Supply students with a text and ask them to transform it from its original genre to a different genre. For example, supply prose and ask students to create a poem with the same essential ideas.
- Trash or Treasure Put students into small groups. Collect a number of newspaper articles on a topic and give copies of the articles to each group of students. Ask a question and tell the students to sort the articles into two groups according to whether they are relevant to the question (treasure) or not (trash). The students can then rank the articles from the most to the least useful, and justify their rankings. Ask another question and let your students reconsider their selections, to show how the relevance of the information depends on the question.
- Turn to Your Partner Teacher gives directions to students. Students formulate individual response and then turn to a partner to share their answers. Teacher calls on several random pairs to share their answers with the class.
- Tutoring One-on-one approach to teaching or re-teaching concepts. May be done by teachers, peers (other students) or professional tutors.
- Twenty Questions Students work in pairs, seated back to back. Student A is given an ordinary object familiar to both. Student B must try to find out what the object is by asking up to 20 questions. After a successful identification or 20 questions, change roles and try another object. After students become adept at asking questions about familiar objects, they might want to try the same activity using artifacts. Discuss how to formulate questions that generate broad information versus those that yield only a little data.
- Two Cents Worth To encourage participation from all students, everyone has to give his or her 'two cents worth'. Each student is given two pennies at the beginning of class and has to have a comment or question in order to turn in his/her pennies in by the end of the discussion. It really works well, forcing the quiet ones to participate, and limiting the eager ones to contemplate their thoughts before spending their pennies.
- Two-Column Notes A note-taking guide where students list main ideas, headings, or vocabulary in the left column and explanations in the right column. Ex. for cause and effect; listing causes in the left column and the effects in the right or list key vocabulary in the left column and definitions in the right. Advantages: Using the folded sheet can be a great study aide; students can quiz themselves or each other with the answers hidden on the other side of the sheet.
- Two-Min.-Talks Group students into pairs. Inform students that they will each be talking about topic X for two minutes. They will need to select which student will begin first. Using a stopwatch, tell students to begin talking. At two minutes, instruct students to switch. At this point, the other partner begins talking. It is okay for the second person to repeat some of the things the first person said. However, they are encouraged to try and think of new information to share. Share responses with the entire class.
- Understanding Gauge Stop at any point during instruction and ask students to gauge their understanding of the concept using the fingers on one hand. Five fingers indicates full understanding and one finger shows there is frustration or confusion. Quickly scan the room and see if a full class re-teach is necessary or perhaps some individual or small group intervention would be more efficient.
- Videotapes Commercially produced tapes for educational purposes, or student made for assessment purposes.
- Videotaping Students produce videotapes then review their presentations. Useful in improving metacognitive and communication skills.
- Visual Aids Any graphical aids used in presentations or to clarify or improve writing.
- Visual Memory Display picture for a second or two, then ask students to describe as much as they can remember from what they saw.
- Vocabulary Match List Give students list of words to match before they read the chapter or story.
- Vocabulary Review After reading a story or studying a chapter, write key vocabulary words on 4x6 cards with a marker. Teacher holds a word card above a student's head making sure student does not see card, but rotating card so rest of class does. Without saying the word, call on another student to give definition of the word. The first student tries to guess the word. Continue the activity until all the vocabulary word cards have been answered correctly. Can also be used with numbers on the cards; students make up a math problem answered by the number on the card, which the first student must guess.
- Voting Cards Students can be given laminated cards at the beginning of the year to be used to express their opinions in class. When they agree with a statement, they might hold up a green card, disagreement could be signified with a red card, and yellow could be used to show indecision or uncertainty.
- VSS (Vocabulary Self collection Strategy) As a class, students nominate words they'd like to learn more about.
- Wallpaper Task Students review information they have learned. Each student designs a piece of “wallpaper” that encapsulates key learnings. Wallpaper is posted. Students take a gallery/”wisdom” walk and note what others have written/illustrated. Can jot down ideas.
- Walking Tour Passages from reading are posted on individual pages around the room. Groups tour the room and discuss each passage, then summarize.
- Want Ads Students write want ads. Varieties include "historical," "humorous," and as a famous character.
- Web Webbing in writing.
- Web Quest http://questgarden.com/search/
- What Is It? The teacher brings an object to class that is unfamiliar or has some historical significance. Ask students to identify the object or describe how it might have been used.
- What’s My Word Students play in pairs, using pencil and paper. Player 1 chooses a spelling word and draws a short line for each letter. Player 2 tries first to guess and gets five guesses asking questions such as "Does it have an ion?" If the answer is yes, Player 1 fills in the word part. "Does it have any n's?" and so on. Does it rhyme with? and so on. By using the process of elimination, they should be able to get the right word by the fifth guess. Then, players 1 and 2 then switch roles. At the end of the game, players add up their incorrect guesses. The player with fewer incorrect guesses wins.
- Where Am I? Pair activity where partner1 points to a place on a blank map and partner2 selects the location from a list or names the location. Partner1 checks the response with a key. Partners switch roles halfway through the list. Alternative approach: partner1 describes location (no maps) and partner 2 guesses where it is.
- Where Is It? To improve ability to describe place and location in writing. Number small paper objects (about 2 inches tall). This can be seasonal. You could use pumpkins, Christmas trees, even cartoon characters. Number from 1 to around 20. Each team will need paper numbered from 1 to 20. Make a chart and pre-teach a lesson on common prepositions (on, over, beside, above, under, etc.) Hide your numbered objects around the room. Place some so they can be easily found, others in more difficult places. Divide the students into groups of 4. Two students are the searchers and two are the recorders. When you say "Go", the two searchers begin looking for a numbered object. When they find one, they return to their group and whisper to the recorders exactly where they found it. The recorders write it on their paper in a complete sentence. This should all be done quietly so other teams don't hear what they found. The objects can be found in any order. When the time limit is up (15 minutes is good) have students share their answers. Give a point for each correct response. The team with the most points wins.
- Where Were You? Writing activity. Students' interview their parents about certain historical events, taking notes about where they were and what they remember. Add to this list: First man on moon, Kennedy assassinations, Ronald Reagan shot, Mount Saint Helens erupting, Nixon resigning, Challenger accident, Bombing in Oklahoma City, John Lennon shot, Elvis Presley dies, 9-11 Point to Remember: Go over the journalism topics: who, what, when, where, why, how. Have students make their own list of events from last year that they remember, to discuss with their parents.
- Whispering Game Vocabulary strategy. Divide class into teams. Give the last person in each team a word. When teacher says "Go", the last student whispers the word to the one in front and so on until the first in line has the word and runs up to the board and writes it. First team with correctly spelled word on board gets a point. At the end the students see the whole list on the board again.
- Who Am I? Students attempt to determine their secret identity (taped on their back) by circulating and asking "yes/no" questions of classmates. They are allowed three questions of classmates or unlimited ones until they receive a "no" response. They then find a new classmate to question. (use for characters in a story, people in history)
- Who’s Got the On many 3x5 cards put problems and an answer on back, but they do not match. Start the students out by putting a question on the board. Someone has the answer on his/her 3x5 card. They walk up and put the answer on the board and also put up the next question (the question on their card). Give them a new card and they sit down. The process continues and everyone eventually gets up to the board.
- Word Associates Requires students to identify which word or object is different from a series of others. Students then make a general statement to link the other words or objects. It requires higher-level thinking skills and help students identify relationships between words while recognizing categorizing factors. Examples: In these groups, which one does not belong? Explain why. • FRANCE GERMANY GREECE JAPAN • cm m in. mm • 70, 25, 13, 1035, 260 • condensation, precipitation, perspiration, percolation
- Word Bank List or collection of words for students to choose from.
- Word Chain Game that helps students categorize. Teacher supplies category and a first word, then students supply the next word "in the chain." The chain is formed having the next word start with the ending letter of the previous word. For example: Category = Things found in the kitchen. Words: SinK - KnifE - EggbeateR - RefrigeratoR - and so on.
- Word Walls Word walls are not only a great use of space, but an excellent learning tool. Word Walls are a systematically organized collection of words displayed in large letters on a wall providing students with a daily, easily accessible reminder of the importance of developing their vocabulary. At the same time it gives the teacher a ready source for ongoing activities with student for extending and practicing their words.
- Wordsplash A collection of key terms from a written passage which the students are about to read. The terms selected represent important ideas that the teacher wants students to attend to when they actually do the reading later, but initially the students' task is to make predictive statements about how each of the terms relates to the title of the reading. Display selected terms randomly and at angles on a visual (overhead or chart). Students brainstorm and generate complete statements (not just words or phrases) which predict the relationship between each term and the topic. Once students have generated statements for each term they turn to the printed material, read to check the accuracy of their predictive statements and revise where needed. "Splash" refers to the random arrangement of the key terms around the topic at the start of the activity.
Ending your class is as important as beginning your class. Five minutes or less may seem like a short amount of time, however, over a period of several weeks, it becomes a significant chunk of wasted or lost learning opportunities. Most of the time, unused end minutes become a breeding ground for discipline problems. “Time on Task” means students are spending every minute of their time in class focused on the task of learning. It is up to the teacher to plan and adapt for using that time wisely. Here are some quick activities to help you manage those ending times successfully.
4. End Your Lesson
- Application Cards At the end of instruction, students write a real world application for the knowledge on a small card and submit it to teacher.
- CATs Classroom Assessment Techniques: Simple, in-class activities that give both you and your students instant, useful feedback on the teaching-learning process. They can be in the form of oral responses, written responses, or signals. Everyone responds at the same time. Example of oral response: “Class, when I say Tell Me, I want everyone to say the name of this figure. Ready, Tell Me” - Use thumbs up / thumbs down for True / False questions; Agree or Disagree Cards, etc.
- Cheat Notes Summarization technique. At the end of class or mini-lesson, students prepare a single note card of information they believe will be on test. Students are allowed to bring these notes to test. As students gain confidence, withdraw use of cards during test.
- Checklist At the end of class, students can use a checklist to see if they have info for next lesson, completed necessary activities, etc. Checklists can be used to satisfy many objectives. They can be useful as a memory tool or in encouraging creativity. They can also be used directly as assessments, or as a review tool in preparing for assessments.
- CROWN A closure technique that encourages students to reflect on the completed lesson. CROWN = Communicate what you learned. Reaction to what you learned. Offer one sentence that sums up what the whole lesson was about. Ways you could use what you learned. Note how well you did today.
- Debriefing A form of reflection immediately following an activity or at the end of class. Asking questions such as What worked well?” “What should have been done differently? and so on.
- Exit Slips Students must write the concept taught in class that day or explain three vocabulary words and how they are related, etc. as a “ticket” to leave class.
- Get the Gist This activity forces students to squeeze meaning into a tight, precise summary. The goal of GIST is to have students convey the "gist" of what they have read or what they have learned by summarizing in 20 words. If reading, extraneous details must be discarded as a clearly defined focus is found. It is best to require a sentence format. Students learn to ask themselves: What is the most important person, place, or thing? What is the most important idea about the person, place or thing? If at the end of the lesson, students learn to ask themselves, “What skill or concept have I learned” or “What did I do in class today?”, etc.
- Grab Bag Near the conclusion of a lesson, have a student draw an object or word from a bag. The student must explain or illustrate how the object is related to what they have learned.
- Learning Logs Learning logs help students integrate content, process, and personal feelings and operate from the stance that students learn from writing rather than writing what they have learned. Have students make entries in their logs during the last five minutes of class or after each completed week of class. They differ from journals in that journals are usually free flowing whereas Learning Logs are more concise. The following questions could be used to guide students: What did I do in class today? What did I learn? What did I find interesting? What questions do I have about what I learned? What was the point of today's lesson? How does this connect to a previous lesson?
- Luck of the Draw All students’ names are put into a container. At the end of class, a student's name is drawn at random from the container. At the beginning of the next class the student whose name was drawn is required to present a 1-2 minute review of the previous day's lesson.
- Meaningful Sentences Given vocabulary terms, students can be shown sentences in which the terms are used in a context that helps them to understand the meaning of the terms, or as an assessment, students can be asked to write meaningful sentences containing key words as they leave.
- Minute Papers An end-of-class reflection in which students write briefly to answer the questions: "What did you learn today? and "What questions do you still have?"
- Muddiest Point A question used to stimulate metacognitive thinking. Students are asked to name or describe the concept they understand the least from the lesson (their muddiest point).
- Newscast Use the last few minutes to show newscasts written and produced by students. Newscasts can either be about current happenings, or be used to explore historical events. Ex. World War II Newscasts
- One Sentence Summary Students are asked to write a single summary sentence that answers the "who, what, where, when, why, how" questions about the topic or today’s lesson.
- One Word Summary Select (or invent) one word which best summarizes a topic. Have students write 2-3 sentences justifying the selection of the summary word.
- Quickwrite Can use during the last few minutes of class. Cousin to Quicktalk except students have a short period (typically 30 seconds) to share all they know by writing. Can then swap with partner or pass to the right, etc. for others to read.
- Pair Review Teacher (or students) generates 10 questions for A and 10 for B partners. Answer choices are listed for partner to choose from as partner asks question from the list.
- Self-Assessments Students reflect on their performance and assess themselves with teacher created instruments or student made.
- Sum It Up Have students imagine they are placing a classified ad where every word used costs them money. Tell them each word costs 10 cents, and they can spend "so much." For instance, if you say they have $2.00 to spend, then that means they have to write a summary that has no more than 20 words. You can adjust the amount they have to spend, and therefore the length of the summary, according to the text they are summarizing and the time you leave to finish.
- Summaries Condensing information into smaller chunks. The teacher controls the length by varying the method and by limiting the number of words. Can be used at the end of class or lesson.
- The Last Word Summary technique. Each letter in topic name is used to remember key ideas in topic. (example: snow, Six-sided ice crystals. Near center is dust particle. One snowflake is usually made of more than one crystal. Water vapor freezes to form.)
- Triangle Review Draw a small triangle and have students answer, “What are the 3 points I want to remember”. Other shapes can be used—Circle for “What are some questions still going around in your head?” or Square for “What are some things you saw, heard, or did that “squared” with your beliefs?
- Ticket to Leave Closing activity where students respond in writing or verbally to short assignment. List the steps of the scientific method, etc.