Thursday, May 9, 2013

Three effective teaching strategies

Three teaching strategies that I use every week in my classroom are:

1.       Reading goal setting and progress monitoring:  Every week I check my 3rd and 4th grade student’s AR points and to see if and how much they have read the past week.  I meet with each student and we discuss how they did and set a goal for the upcoming week.  I follow up the discussion with progress monitoring, the student reads a passage for one minute and we look at their progress/decline.  We then have a discussion about how they did. 

·        Principle:  This instructional strategy falls under Marzano’s 3rd principle: reinforcing effort and providing recognition.   Following their reading I “Pause, Prompt, Praise” as needed or earned.

·        Effectiveness:  One piece of criteria our learning group came up with was meaningful systems of feedback – this strategy I practice is highly effective with the students as it clearly aligns with both Marzano’s principles as well as our group criteria.  My students regularly see the correlation between how much they read in a week to how they read during their weekly monitoring.  They understand when they read, their fluency goes up and when they slack off reading, their reading fluency declines.  My hopes or goal is that they internalize this learning and continue to read over the summer months.

2.      Soar to Success program – Small group around kidney table previewing story and summarizing at end of each daily lesson:  My 3rd and 4th grade intervention program is called Soar to Success.  Built into the program are strategies of predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing in a small group. 

·        Principle:  The strategy uses Marzano’s 2nd and 6th principle:  Summarizing and note taking and Cooperative Learning.  The kids are face to face predicting, reading, and summarizing.  This type of setting has group accountability naturally built in. 

·        Effectiveness:  The kids work together on the story and finish the lesson by summarizing the “big idea” from the text every day.  They share the big idea with a whisper partner and the partner shares what they heard their partner say.  This encourages active listening and higher level thinking.   They are not just summarizing “little details” but the overall theme or idea.   By working together in cooperative groups they learn at higher levels by scaffolding off of ideas that are shared.  This strategy aligns with Marzano’s principles as well as our group criteria of group work and cooperative learning, meaningful systems of feedback, and making predictions.

3.      Phonemic Awareness – Small groups around kidney table using chips and sound boxes to symbolize letters by only using the sound of the letter.  The Kindergarten students use 2-4 sound boxes copied on colored paper.  This is a Barton Intervention program tweaked for small groups rather than individual tutoring.

·        Principle:  The strategy uses Marzano’s 5th principle:  Nonlinguistic representation. The chips are symbols representing letters and pulling them down provides movement and active engagement.  This type of setting provides active movement by using manipulative chips along with arm movements.

·        Effectiveness:  The kids work individually but side by side using arm movement and manipulative chips as symbols of letters.  This is a highly effective intervention as it is has been used across the country with students struggling with reading.  Students in the groups have gone from showing little phonemic awareness skills to mastering the benchmark in as little as 2 weeks.  This strategy aligns with Marzano’s principles as well as our group criteria of multiple intelligence including spatial and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences.

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