Best Practices in the Classroom- What does the saying “best practices” instruction and teaching mean for an educator? Is it what works well for you or the educational community? Maybe they are just textbook answers. I think most people agree that the phrase “best practices” is not a set of actions but rather a series of steps taken by the teacher. This article will provide educators with a list of teaching strategies with a best practices focus.
Best Practices in the Classroom
While most music teachers vary in instructional delivery, these are the best practices in teaching that can be applied to almost any educational environment.
- Essential Questions
- Authentic Experiences
- Integrated Technology
- Student Research
- Cooperative Learning
- Recognizing Learning Styles
- Portfolio Assessments
- Teacher as a Coach
- Alternative Assessments
- Data-Driven Instruction
- Recognizing Multiple Intelligence
- Differentiated Instruction
- Benchmark Testing
- Tiered Instruction
- Graphic Organizers
- Inquiry-based Instruction
- Scaffolding Instruction
- Anchoring Activities
- Student Directed Learning
- Standards-Based Curriculum
- Interdisciplinary Instruction
- Project-Based Learning
- First of all, our list of teaching strategies starts with assessments. Assessments are evaluating tools to judge students fairly which focuses on the learned content.
- Essential questions guide the content and processes in which teachers use. As a result, using essential questions prioritizes material student should expect to learn.
- Authentic experiences refer to the learning and application that takes place in a real life-style scenarios.
- Integrated technology refers to the use of technological tools. Above all, the computer is a popular tool in use by students to learn and problem solve.
- Student research is the act of students finding information to apply problem-solving skills. By collecting data and putting it through an applied format.
- Cooperative learning is an instructional technique in which students are in small groups to complete a series of specific tasks. This learning style reinforces student leadership and teamwork skills.
Recognizing Learning Styles
- A teacher’s ability and awareness to recognize different learning styles provides an opportunity to make adjustments. As a result, the chances for an increase in student learning is possible.
- Another assessment is portfolio assessment. Similarly, this is an alternative assessment strategy as opposed to traditional paper and pencil environment. Hence, this a purposeful collection of student work to show learning progress.
Teacher as a Coach
- Teaching as a coach refers to an ongoing attempt to support a student in an accountable, consistent and dedicated way. As a result, this often means a teacher will reach out to the child, beyond the classroom, to provide a caring and student-centered support pillar.
- An alternative assessment is a holistic approach to student performance grading. These assessments enable the students to provide their own responses rather than in a traditional assessment framework.
- Another type of delivery is data-driven instruction. This is an educational teaching approach that relies on information for instructing students. Hence, the purpose of this information is to provide instruction that meets the needs of the students.
Recognizing Multiple Intelligence
- Most noteworthy, multiple intelligence is the idea that a teacher understands that there are multiple ways students learn. This idea is based on Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence.
- Rubrics include an authoritative set of rules providing criteria for grading. Even more, rubrics strengthen a teacher’s objectivity when having to justify assessment scores.
- Differentiated instruction is a type of instruction that is a student-centered. Furthermore, this type of instruction provides options to meet the student’s specific learning needs.
- Benchmark testing is a type of testing that is repeatable and compares results over the course of time.
- Tiered instruction is a curriculum model that is created based on different levels. For that reason, these levels are based on student data, observations, interests, and work habits. Groups work and come together to share with others in the class.
- Graphic organizers are educational tools that use visual symbols to express knowledge, concepts, and ideas. Most noteworthy examples of graphic organizers include concept maps, advanced organizers, and Venn diagrams.
- Inquiry-based instruction is about triggering student curiosity. This type of instruction puts less pressure on the teacher. Hence, some of the instructional responsibility being placed on the students.
- Instructional scaffolding is an educational framework designed to be tailored to the learning needs of the student. First of all, students are introduced to skills and content. Furthermore, templates and guides support student learning. As a result, learning takes place and supports are gradually removed.
- Anchoring activities are specific on-going activities that students work on independently after primary work is completed. Therefore these activities extend the learning process.
- Student-directed learning focuses on greater student ownership, and accountability. Even more, this educational technique allows students to make their own choices that are relevant, and meaningful.
- Standards-based curriculum refers to an instructional system that focuses on students to demonstrate a certain level of understanding and mastery.
- Interdisciplinary instruction involves the integration of more than one academic discipline. Furthermore, this delivery model is used to analyze and better understand a topic, question or theme.
- Finally, our list of teaching strategies ends with project-based learning. Project-based learning deals with students working on projects over an extended period of time. Consequently, these projects aim to solve complex problems and engages them in real-world scenarios. This experience results in a more authentic and deeper learning opportunity.
First of all, best practices are professional responsibilities that every educator should use. Even more important is that teachers should be involved in professional development that reinforces these most noteworthy practices. Above all, fellow teachers should be available to support and assist those who need additional support in achieving these instructional goals.
In contrast, young teachers should not be fearful to ask for help. Use this list of teaching strategies as a guide as a resource for professional development. Remember, almost every teacher has had to grow in the profession and is happy to help others.
In conclusion, these best practices in teaching are a win for students, educators, and the community. For that reason, the value of an educator who strives to use best practices is a priceless asset to everyone whom he or she comes into contact. Ask yourself, “do I have a list of teaching strategies that work for me?” “Can I utilize these strategies to meet the learning needs of my students?” If you do, as a result, you will find a satisfying sense of pleasure and accomplishment.