The following methods are to be used during a lesson:
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- They are a very effective memory aid. Create an acronym involving a classroom topic. When the learner is able to recall the first letter of each element, he/she will remember the broader info. Example: ROY G. BIV - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet to remember the colors of a rainbow. Learners can also make acronyms with the letters in their name. Example: DIANE - Daring, Intelligent, Active, Nice, Energetic.
Agreement Circles- Used to explore opinions. As learners stand in a circle (facing each other), the educator makes a statement. Learners who agree with the statement step into the circle.
Alternative Assessments- Any of a variety of assessments that allow educators to evaluate their learners' understanding or performance. Examples include: portfolios, journals, and authentic assessments.
Audio-visuals- Includes many categories of educational materials including: posters, paintings, slides, videos, films, and videotapes.
Author's Chair- Learners sit in a chair at the front of the class and present their work to the class.
Autobiographies-Learners illustrate their life stories or explore the lives of prominent people by listening to published autobiographies.
Basket Stories- With learners in small groups give each group a basket with three kinds of objects from nature (flat leaves, sticks, stones). The educator creates a story and has the first group pull an item from their basket - this is the main character. The next group pulls out an item to be the setting. The following group pulls out an item to become an action. Whenever the storyteller gets stuck, a new action is pulled out of the basket. Continue until at least 2 different items have been taken from each basket. All items taken from the basket must be used in the story. Short cut: bring the baskets already made up.
Basketball- Write at least 25 'easy' questions. Write at least 25 'hard' 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 2 feet from the basket and place a piece of tape on the floor approximately 5 feet from the basket. Divide the learners into two teams. Explain that each learner must answer the questions given to him or her. Easy and hard questions will be evenly dispersed. Keep score for the questions. Easy questions are worth 1 point each and hard questions are worth 2. If a learner 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 learner 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 Questions- A fun way of setting a purpose for reading. A question is written on each section of the beach ball. Class forms a large circle. The educator calls out a name and tosses ball to the learner. Learner chooses to answer any question on the ball. The learner then calls out another learners name and tosses them the ball. That learner may choose to add to the last answer or to answer a different question. Continue until all questions have been answered.
Bingo- Learners place 25 pictures or stickers on a bingo board. The educator calls out a picture. Learners cross through the picture if they have it. First person with five pictures in a row or column crossed out is the winner.
Brainstorming- Group process where all ideas are accepted and recorded. This is a great strategy for motivating learners at the beginning of a unit of study. For example, "Tell me everything you know about the water cycle." Learners like to see their response written on the board.
Buzz Sessions- Small, informal group discussions.
CAI (Computer-Assisted Instruction) - Learners learn at own pace with interactive computer programs.
CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques)- Simple, in-class activities that give both you and your learners 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 an oral response: "Class, when I say Tell Me, I want everyone to say the name of this animal. Ready, Tell Me". Other CATs include using thumbs up / thumbs down for true / false questions, agree or disagree cards, etc.
Capsule Vocabulary- A teaching strategy to explore vocabulary. Learners 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 educator, who writes each word on the board and briefly tells the learners about the word. After all the words have been introduced have each learner copy the words onto a sheet of paper. Pair the learners and give each pair a limited time (3 - 5 minutes) to try to use the words in a conversation about the topic. Learners should check off the words as they're able to sneak into the conversation.
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 learner to select a card from a particular row of pockets, the educator targets work toward learners needs yet allows learner choice.
Choices- Offering learners 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 learners in the group respond verbally at the same time. The response can be either an answer or a question, or to repeat something the educator has said. Often used in repeating of computational facts or vocabulary.
Chores- Chores can be used to teach about responsibility, working together, and usefulness. Chores also teach about organization and helping others.
Chunking- A memorization technique. Educator shows how breaking information into parts makes it easier to recall. For example, phone numbers are broken into chunks that make them easier to remember than if they were in a 7-digit sequence.
Class Museum- Educator and learners bring artifacts and memorabilia from home to display in the classroom for a specific topic. Set parameters ahead of time. Example: extremely valuable items should not be brought in.
Class Publication- Learners 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 learners to make "appointments" with peers. You can sign up for a specific time if appropriate. Periodically during class, you ask learners to find their ___o'clock appointment to meet and discuss a topic.
Closing In-An activity created by the educator to give learners practice with language usage. The educator selects a simple sentence, marks out a word, and then rewrites the sentence and leaves a blank line where the marked out word was. The result is a "fill in the blank" that should be enjoyable for the learner while at the same time giving the educator information about the learner'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 learners.
Collages-Learners 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 learner 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 (themed vocabulary on one card and a picture of the vocabulary on the other for instance). Learners take turns. On each turn, the learner chooses two cards from a face- down arrangement. Learners keep pairs, which they correctly identify as matching.
Cooperative Review-Groups take turns asking other groups questions. Often conducted as a game where points are awarded.
Corners- A cooperative structure that enables learners to choose and discuss a particular topic or story. Post different types of questions in designated corners of the room. Examples may include - Who is your favorite character?; What is your favorite drawing?; If you were the author, what would you write about next? Each learner selects a particular question asked by the educator and moves to the appropriate corner. Once in their corner, learners pair up to discuss the reasons for their choice. After discussion, the educator randomly selects pairs from each corner to report their thinking to the class.
Crazy Definitions- Say a word aloud and have the learners think about its definition. Then give two wrong definitions and one correct definition (in random orders). Tell the learners that they are to vote for the correct definition. Each learner who votes correctly earns one point.
Cues & Questions- A technique foractivating prior knowledge in an informal yet effective way. It helps learners retrieve information they already know about a topic. Cues involve "hints" about what learners are about to experience. Questions also offer "hints" as well.
Demonstrations- An activity to show learners how things work or how they happen. Demonstrations are often used in science 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.
Dictation- A dictation can either be the learner writing down a word the educator says, or the educator writing down what the learner states. Either way, dictations require at least two people engaged in listening to each other.
Disappearing Word- Write a word on the board. Say each letter in the word to the learners. Learners chorus respond. The educator erases a letter and the learners read out the letters to the word including the missing letter. Educator erases another letter and the learners read out the entire word again. Educator continues erasing until there is no more letters on the board. Learners then spell the word from memory.
Discussion- Classroom discussions typically begin with the educator describing the goal or purpose of the discussion. Sometimes discussions may be initiated by the posing of an open-ended question. Educators can employ a number of techniques to encourage learners to participate in discussions, including calling on specific people, or assigning learners to be an "expert" or leader for various parts of the discussion. Many cooperative activities include a "small group" discussion as teams work together.
Dramatizing- Learners act out roles from stories, historical events, or purely from their own imagination.
Drill- Practice by repetition. Often used to reinforce language and basic math skills.
Elevator Speech- Small group activity to encourage sharing of information. After allowing for preparation time, the learner is to give a one-minute speech on what they have learned in the lesson/unit.
Envelope, Please- An activating strategy used prior to beginning a new topic. Have the weekly theme or the topic of the day in an envelope.
Find Someone Who- A variation of the Human Scavenger Hunt. Usually this activity is used to encourage learners to seek out the learners in class who know the answers to specific content questions. This works most effectively if each learner is an "expert" on a different topic or sub-topic than the others in the class.
Film Clips- Motion picture film clips can be used to enhance learning of literature, language, or historical events.
Find the Fib- Team activity where groups of learners think of two true statements and one false statement, then challenge other teams (or the educator) to "Find the Fib."
Five Whys?- Asking a chain of "why questions" with each question diving deeper into the root cause of a problem.
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 learners for independent practice, or can be used by pairs of learners to practice as a team. Online flash cards are available.
Foldables or Flipbooks- 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 learners are asked to examine all the choices, then stand next to their choice. Learners selecting the same choice then discuss reasons for their choice.
Four Corners- Label the four corners of the room with "Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree." Read a controversial statement and have learners go to the corner representing their point of view. All learners sharing a point of view work together to collect evidence and present an argument supporting their beliefs. Example: We should have ice cream for dessert. How do you feel about that?
Freewriting / Freediscussing -Freewriting is a timed activity to stimulate the flow of ideas. Learners are given a topic and must write, draw, or discuss everything they can think of about the topic.
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 learner 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.
Generating & Testing Hypotheses- Generating and Testing Hypotheses isthe most powerful and analytic of cognitive operations. This technique can be approached in a more inductive (having a sense) or deductive (based on clues or research) manner.
Graffiti Walls- A graffiti wall is when several topics or questions are written on sheets of paper and posted on the walls or floor around the room. Learners move freely and draw or place answers on each piece of paper at the same time. Give the learners a signal for when they should rotate.
Greeting Cards- Learners 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 learners have completed those problems they raise their hands and the educator 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, and then assemble to present their findings to the entire class.
Group Summary- Ask the learners to state the important ideas in what they have listened to. List the points that the learners 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- Learners listen to 15 minutes of lecture. At the end, they spend five minutes recalling the information they remembered.
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 educator, and short segments of individual or whole class instruction. The educator may pose a problem and have the learners work as the educator moves around the room checking for progress. To conclude the lesson, the educator then works the problems on the board or calls upon learners to come to the board and complete the problems themselves.
Hands-On- Hands-On means any instructional activity that is emphasizes learners working with objects relevant to the content being studied.
Highlighting- Marking key concepts with a different color to emphasize importance.
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 learners to apply facts to solve real world problems, and second, to improve retention of facts.
Hot Seat- Each row of learners is given a stack of cards with words and pictures. The first learner to go lays them all out so he/she can see them. The educator reads a word. The learners pass the correct card up. Other learners in the row must look and see that it is the correct word. 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." Can also be used with math problems and solutions.
Idea Spinner- Educator creates a spinner marked into four quadrants and labeled setting, character, problem, and solution. After reading a story, the educator has the learner spin the idea spinner to discuss the four parts of the story.
I Have - Who Has?- Learners each receive a card with a math problem and a solution (not the solution to the math problem that is on their card). The educator will start out with a math problem and will say out loud, "Who has the answer to 4+4? The person who has 8 would stand and say, "I have 8. (Then they read the back of their card.) Who has the answer to 5 + 1?" The learner with 6 calls out, "I have 6. Who has..... and so on. This game requires all learners to be paying attention at all times.
"I'm Thinking of a Word" Game- Key words/pictures are placed on the board. Educator has large index cards with words on one side and clues on the other. Give learners clues: Ex. I am a fruit. I turn yellow and then brown. Monkeys love to eat me." Learners choose a word/picture. They in turn hold up their answer to see if there is a match to a banana.
Keyword Memory Method- In the keyword method, learners 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 "I need to wear a helmet when riding my bike," the learner would first break up the phrase into three related words: helmet, riding, and bike. Finally the learner would image a helmet riding a bike.
Learning Centers- Stations where an individual or paired learners explore resources. Designed to extend knowledge introduced in whole group instruction.
Learning Contracts- A form of individualized, active learning, in which the learner proposes a course of study to satisfy an academic requirement and an educator checks and approves the contract. The learner typically works independently until assistance is needed from the educator, at which point it is the responsibility of the learner 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 learners in which the educator takes a more active role and the function of the contract is to focus the learner'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 learner reports out with a one-minute summary of the group's discussion.
Learning Stations- Individual stations where individual or paired learners explore resources. Designed to extend knowledge introduced in whole group instruction.
Lecture- There are times for which a lecture is beneficial such as: Cognitive modeling (The lecturer can demonstrate how he or she thinks about a problem.), conveying personal enthusiasm for the subject, and inciting learners to active learning where the lecture is the setting for activities that the learners are to do. The lecture is still an efficient way to present information and can be motivating to the learners (if the educator can be motivating). But, as with all notable instruction, it is important to get the learners to be active with their thought processes (active learners), otherwise you will lose their interest. A lecture used sparingly and done well (key qualifiers) can be effective. Lectures may include visual aids or note taking.
Library Research- Many projects require research in the library to enable learners to supplement the information they can find in their textbooks and on the Internet. To further encourage library research, educators can provide guidelines for projects and assignments to encourage learners to become familiar with using resources in the library. Example: We are going to learn about butterflies today. Can you please go to the library and find the book about butterflies?
Line-Up- Learner 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.
Magazines - Appropriate magazine articles can be used as a real-world source of information.
Manipulatives-Manipulatives are objects used in the classroom to allow learners to make connections to concepts through touch. Examples might include a bag of beans for counting or a microscope for scientific inquiry.
Mark It Up- Give learners each a transparency sheet and have them lay it over page in a book. With vis-Ã -vis or whiteboard markers you can have them underline or trace important words, pictures, etc.
Match Mine- Pair activity in which one learner draws, while the other waits, then the second learner tries to copy the drawing of the first using only descriptions supplied by the first learner.
Medium Size Circle- First, 5-10 volunteers share something important they learned. Second, volunteers remember (restate) what was shared. Continue until each of the original speakers have been "remembered."
Message in a Bottle- Learners tell a tale about an imaginary adventure or trip that has left them stranded on a desert island. Their only chance forrescue 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 learners are finished, they place the tales in the bottles and set afloat in water (children's pool).
Metaphors- Metaphors can be used as examples by educators or learners can create their own metaphors. Example: A star is a diamond in the sky.
Mix and Match- Learners make pairs or sets from randomly ordered objects on cards.
Mnemonics- A device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something. Example: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles to remember the planets in order - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Modeling- Educator models behaviors or skills.
Move-Freeze-Pair- Have learners move around the room, freeze on your signal, and 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) During transitions- helps to move from one activity to another; 4) After class concludes - leaves a final positive impression.
Numbered Heads- Each learner is assigned a number. Educator asks a question. Learners huddle in their groups to make sure all can respond, educator calls a number, the learner with that number answers for the group.
Online Assessments- Educators can go to websites to find various prepared assessments according to grade level and skill.
Oral Presentation- Oral presentations are a form of direct instruction. Lectures are the most common form of oral presentations in the classroom. Other forms of oral presentations include talks given to describe a weekend outing or a prepared topic.
Outside Experts- Outside experts can be used as guest speakers, volunteers to assist during projects, or as evaluators of learner work (science fair judge or talent show judge).
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 first form, two learners work together to accomplish some task. The task may be to produce a tangible object (like a poster or puzzle) or may be to make a presentation to the class. The more global form of a pair project is for classes in different parts of the world to collaborate on a project. The learners perform similar activities in both locations then compare results.
Pairs Check- Pairs work together and check each other's work.
Pairs Worksheet- Learners work with a partner. Both partners take turns completing the assignment. One partner watches as the other partner works and explains the process, and then the roles reverse. Learners turn in one paper and both get the same evaluation.
Peer Editing- Learners view and give feedback on the work of their peers. Peer editing is not only useful as a tool to improve learners' analytical skills, but also provides learners with an alternative audience for their work.
Peer Evaluation- Learners evaluate presentations or work of fellow learners.
Peer Questioning- Learners ask questions of each other. Often occurs during learner presentations.
Peer Teaching- Each learner becomes an "expert" at a movement or vocabulary word and then teaches the movement or word to his or her randomly assigned partner.
Personal White Boards- Whiteboard for individual learners. Have a procedure for picking them up or handing them out as well as a marker and eraser to go with it. Learners can then write an answer, work a problem, perform a skill, etc. for instant feedback or assessment.
Photographed Vocabulary- 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 learner chooses one of the vocabulary words and creates a frozen representation of the word. For example, a learner would strike a pose to convey the word "tired".
Photo Journalism- Learners chronicle events through pictures and reporting.
Pictionary- Learners create visual representations of vocabulary words. Class is divided into two groups. The educator is the host. A player from each team steps up to the board. Player 1 is given a key word to draw. Team members hopefully guess. Points are 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- Learners create collages representing their interests, background, or culture. Learners can either share them and explain them to the class, or post them anonymously to allow learners to try to guess which collage belongs to which learner.
Picture Match List-Give learners list of words to match before they read the chapter or story.
Picture Prompts- Place a picture at the top of a paper. Either have the learner dictate a sentence or two about the picture, or have the learner discuss what they see. Picture Prompts are ideal for predicting what was happening before, during, and after the picture was taken.
Positive Profile- Learners analyze characters from reading by completing a personality evaluation form that includes positive characteristics such as "hobbies," "strengths," and "smartest action performed."
Posters-Learners create posters on a topic according to educator guidelines.
Prediction Pairs- Learners are paired as they listen to the educator read a passage aloud. At each pause in the reading, the educator prompts learners to discuss with their partner what they predict will happen next in the reading.
Presentations-Learners prepare presentations on topic according to educator guidelines.
Previewing the Text- Previewing the text provides an opportunity for readers to skim through the text before actually reading. This strategy provides learners with a mental outline of the text they will be reading. Previewing will help learners improve their comprehension and should be used automatically whenever learners are faced with a new text. A discussion of illustrations can also be preformed during the previewing of the text.
Projects- Learners prepare: a dance, a letter, a lesson, advertisement, animated movie, art gallery, block picture story, bulletin board, bumper sticker, chart, choral reading, clay sculpture, code, collage, collection, comic strip, costumes, debate, demonstration, detailed illustration, diorama, diary, display, edibles, etching, experiment, 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, map with legend, mazes, mobile model, mosaic, mural, museum exhibit, musical instruments, needlework, non-fiction, oral defense, oral report, painting, pamphlet, pantomime, papier mache, photo essay, pictures, picture story, plaster of Paris model, play, poetry, pop-up card, postage stamp, commemoratives, project cube, puppet, puppet show, puzzle, rap, radio program, recipe, riddle, role play, sculpture, skit, slogan, soliloquy, song, sound, story telling, survey, tapes-audio-video, timeline, transparencies, Venn diagram, video, and a multitude of others.
Puppets- Puppets are useful for role-play and presentations. Puppets are also wonderful to use while reading a story to engage the listener.
Puzzles-Learner created puzzles can be used in a variety of ways. Example: Have the learner draw a shape. Then they cut up, place in baggie, and pass to a partner.
Outcome Sentences- Have learners complete outcome sentences to express what they learned from the lesson presented. Example: 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 an assessment tool. Learner presents information based on a chosen pre-approved format.
Questions- Have learners apply "who, what, when, where, why, and how" to all problems. Or ask learners to generate their own questions.
Quickdraw- Pair activity in which learners 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, learners 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!"
Randomized Questioning- In situations where the educator wants to ensure that all learners have an opportunity to answer questions, the educator creates note cards with the learners' names on them, and then shuffles the cards. After asking each question, the educator reveals the name of the learner chosen at random to answer the question.
Raps- Songs about class topics written and presented by learners. Even young learners can create at least a two-sentence rap. Example: I love peas. Get them please. Liver I hate. So off my plate!
Reader's Theater- Learners adapt some of their reading to present to other learners in the form of a play. These productions can be simple or elaborate and include posters, programs, sets, and costumes.
Read Aloud- Educator reads aloud to the class to improve comprehension, exposure to correct pronunciation, or to create positive feelings about reading. 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 for Information- A type of reading in which learners interact with text to collect information or to improve their understanding of specific topics.
Recorded Books- Books that have been read aloud.
Retelling- Provides an opportunity for readers to process what they have read by organizing and explaining it to others. Learners must identify crucial points and offer details to support their claims. Also reinforces sequencing since it demands remembering information, events, and processes.
Revising- Learners can learn by revising their own work or by revising the work of others.
Rivit- Pick three to five 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 learners 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 learners make prediction about reading based up on the words. Board at the beginning looks like this: 1._ _ _ _ 2._ _ _
Role Play- Learners play the role/s of an established person, animal, or character. Role Play is great to use during yoga.
Say It- Encourages learners to put themselves in the place of characters. It can be done in groups or as a class. Example of questions: "You are the caterpillar from the story. Why were you so hungry?" or "Pretend you were the dog. How did it feel to go to school?"
Self-Assessments- Learners reflect on their performance and assess themselves. Also known as metacognition. Can be rubrics, checklists, or questions. Self-assessments can occur at anytime during the learning process.
Sensory Table- Activities at a bin or table that relate to sensation or physical senses. Examples: Learners playing in mud, water, rice, or scented playdough. Learners can also play with light and shadow.
Scaffolding-Providing temporary support until help is no longer needed. Can take many forms (examples, explanations, organizers, etc.) but needs to build on the learner's existing knowledge.
Scrapbook- Can be used as an assessment tool or for fun. Learners put events, pictures, etc. in scrapbook format.
Script- Learner-generated screenplays. For young learners, recording the script will help them to remember what they said when it comes time to act it out.
Scavenger Hunt- Can be done as a nature game, on a fieldtrip, on the Web, or in a text.
Sequencing- Choose reading material appropriate for your learners- short books or short stories. Have learners list the order of events in the story. The educator rewrites the list, but mixes up the order of events. The learners then sort the events back into the proper order.
Set Objectives and Provide Feedback- 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 learners information on how well they are doing. It should be "corrective" in nature, timely, specific to a criterion, and can be learner generated from rubrics.
Shared Writing-Each learner contributes one or two sentences to a story written by the whole class.
Simile- A comparison of one thing to another using like or as. Example: The sun is like an oven. The storm was as loud as a hammer.
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.
Skit- A short comedy sketch.
Special Days - Special days during the school year when all activities center on a theme. Ex. 100 days of school or Dictionary Day on October 16th (Noah Webster's Birthday). There are many others appropriate to content area.
Spelling Notebook- A learner-generated list of words maintained by the learner to remind them of words they need more work on.
Spider Map- A form of graphic organizer to help learners see the relationship between details and the main topic.
Spongy Word - To review vocabulary, 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 learners toss the sponge around the room to other learners. The words that get chosen can depend on which finger is touching a particular part of the sponge. For example, if a learner's left finger lands on a specific word that is the word they must try to read.
Stations- Stations are set up at different spots in the classroom where learners work on various tasks simultaneously. These stations invite flexible grouping because not all learners need to go to all stations all the time.
Sticker Partners- Hand out questions, puzzles, etc. with a sticker at the top. Have two of each kind of color so that learners must find their matching partner for the assignment.
Story Starters- Writing activity in which learners are given a prompt or story starter. Examples of story starters: Once upon a time... There was a little boy and a little girl who... Last night... The cat once told the dog... I know why... If I could make one wish it would be...
Story Structure Review- Learners are asked to recall key features of a story.
Story Telling/Retelling- Educators read stories to learners then learners retell the story by acting it out, answering questions, or drawing scenes from the story.
Summarizing- Useful skill requiring learners to give a brief statement of the main points of a topic.
Task Cards- Specific instructions or guides for learners to use at learning centers or for independent activities. Task cards should be very visual and easy to understand.
Team Projects- Learners work in teams to accomplish a task (either learning, or creating a physical product).
Television- Educational television programming is used in the classroom.
Think-Aloud- Educator describes own thoughts while reading aloud to the class in order to help readers better understand what they are reading. Think-Aloud encourages learners to think about what they read as they read it. Think aloud strategies include 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.
Tic-Tac-Toe- Divide class into teams. Write the numbers 1-9 on the board in a tic-tac-toe arrangement (3 rows by 3 columns). The learners call out a number andyou have a list of words assigned to 1-9. They must read the correct word behind the number to take the space.
Timed Drill- Learners complete an activity with a time limit.
Timed-Pair-Share- Paired activity with a time limit.
Timelines-Learners create a timeline. Take 2 unsharpened pencils and tape to each end of the paper. This allows learners to roll up their timeline like a scroll and tie together with a piece of yarn. Learners can make a timeline of their own life, a story or book they've heard, or a special event.
Toss a Question/Catch an Answer- Form of review of what learners have learned. They can form questions and responses from memory. Use asoft ball (like a nerf ball). Begin by throwing the ball to one learner and ask him/her a question. The learner who catches the ball must give an appropriate answer. He/she then must ask another question and throw the ball to another learner. The learner who catches the ball must give the appropriate answer and ask the next question, and so forth.
Trash or Treasure- Put learners into small groups. Collect a number of objects. Give a category and tell the learners to sort the articles into two groups according to whether they are relevant to the category (treasure) or not (trash).
Turn to Your Partner- Educator gives directions to learners. Learners formulate individual response and then turn to a partner to share their answers. Educator calls on several random pairs to share their answers with the class.
Twenty Questions- Learners work in pairs, seated back to back. Learner A is given an ordinary object familiar to both. Learner 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 learners 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. Example: Are you allowed to eat it? What color is the object? NOT Is it a grape? Is it white?
Video Recording- Learners produce video recordings then review their presentations. Useful in improving metacognitive and communication skills.
Videos-Commercially produced videos for educational purposes or learner made for assessment purposes.
Visual Aids- Any graphical aids used in presentations or to clarify or improve writing.
Visual Memory-Display a picture for a few seconds and then ask learners to describe as much as they can remember from what they saw.
Vocabulary Review- After reading a story or studying a chapter, write key vocabulary words on 4x6 cards with a marker. Educator holds a word card above a learner's head making sure learner does not see card, but rotating card so rest of class does. Without saying the word, call on another learner to spell the word. The first learner 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; learners make up a math problem answered by the number on the card, which the first learner must guess.
Voting Cards- Learners 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.
Wallpaper Task- Learners review information they have learned. Each learner designs a piece of "wallpaper" that includes important information. The wallpaper is then posted. Learners take a gallery of "wisdom" walk and note what others have written or illustrated.
Web- Webbing in writing.
What Is It?- The educator brings an object to class that is unfamiliar or has some historical significance. Ask learners to identify the object or describe how it might have been used.
Where Am I?- Paired activity where partner 1 describes a location and partner 2 guesses where it is.
Where Is It? - This method is used to improve the learners' ability to describe places or locations. First, pre-teach a lesson on common prepositions (on, over, beside, above, under, etc.) Next, number small objects from 1 to 10. These objects can be based on the weekly theme. Hide your numbered objects around the room. Place some objects so they can be easily found, while others are hidden in more difficult places. Divide the learners into groups of 2. When you say, "Go", partner 1 searchers for a specific numbered object, while partner 2 keeps his/her eyes closed or faces a wall. When the partner 1 finds the object, they return to partner 2 and whispers where the object is. This should all be done quietly so other teams don't hear where they found it. Then partner 2 must get up and go directly to where they were told the object was hidden. Partner 1 and 2 switch roles every time an object is located. Give a point for each object found. The team with the most points wins.
Whispering Game- Vocabulary strategy. Divide class into teams. Give the last person in each team a word. When educator says "Go", the last learner 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 or identifies the word from a list already written. First team with correctly spelled word on board gets a point. At the end the learners see the whole list on the board again.
Who Am I?- Learners 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.
Windowpane - Divide a flip chart or overhead transparency into 4-8 sections. As you lecture, draw or post graphics, symbols or images in each windowpane to illustrate the point you are making. When you have completed the lesson, remove the completed windowpane. Ask learners 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 the original. A variation is to draw as you read a story. By the end of the story, a picture is fully formed.
Word Associates- Requires learners to identify which word or object is different from a series of others. Learners then make a general statement to link the other words or objects. It requires higher-level thinking skills and help learners identify relationships between words while recognizing categorizing factors. Example: In these groups, which one does not belong? Explain why.
Word Bank- List or collection of words for learners to choose from.
Word Walls - Word Walls are an excellent vocabulary learning tool. They are a systematically organized collection of words displayed in large letters on a wall providing learners with an easily accessible reminder of vocabulary. At the same time, it gives the educator a source for activities to extend and practice vocabulary with the learner.
Worksheets or Stencils- Most textbooks come with worksheets that can be copied. Also, there are numerous websites that have printable worksheets that can be downloaded for free.