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Research Paper- Methods and Strategies of Teaching
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“Methods and Strategies of Teaching”

 

 

 

by

 

 

 

 

Kassy Howell-Johnson

 

 

 

 

Paper Submitted

As Partial Completion of Course

EDU 436, Student Teaching

 

 

 

 

Professor: Dr. Marilyn Coleman

 

 

 

 

 

Tougaloo College

Tougaloo, Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 20, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

I.                    Introduction……………………………………………………………...…….1

A.     Methods and strategies of teaching……………………….……..………...1

II.                 Teacher Expectations………………………………………………………….1

A.     Misjudging students and false perceptions of students …………………...1

B.     High expectations of students……………………………………..………1

C.     Low expectations of students……………………………………………...1

III.               Motivation………………………………………………………..……..……..2

A.     Benefits of motivation……………………………………..………………2

B.     Extrinsic motivation…………………………………….…………………2

C.     Intrinsic motivation……………………………………..…………………2

IV.              Bloom’s Taxonomy……………………………..…………………………….3

A.     Domains…………………………………………………………………...3

B.     Categories………………………………………………………………....3

C.     Use in the classroom…………………………………………….………...4

V.                 Reading Strategies………………………………...…………………………..4

A.     Phonemic awareness……………………….…….………………………..4

B.     Fluency…………………………………………………………………….4

C.     Comprehension……………………………………………………………4

D.     Herringbone pattern……………………………………………………….5

E.      Story map……. ………….……………………………………………..…5

VI.              Writing Strategies…………………………………………………...………...5

A.     Self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) ………………………..…...6

B.     Strategies for teaching written expression …………………………….….6

C.     Strategies for teaching spelling ………………………..………………....6

D.     Strategies for teaching handwriting ……………………………………...6

VII.            Math Strategies……………………………..…………………………………7

A.     Math anxiety………………………………………………………………7

B.     Instructional strategies for secondary students………………...………….7

C.     Direct instruction………………………………………………………….8

D.     Learning strategies instruction……….…………………………………....8

E.      Problem-solving strategies………………………………………….……..8

VIII.         Technology……………………………………………………………………9

A.     Word processors & emails…………………………...……………………9

B.     Data bases & spreadsheets………………………………….……………..9

C.     Assistive Technology Act of 2004……………………………...…………9

IX.              Classroom Management…………………………………………………...…10

A.     The Positive Discipline approach …………………………….…………10

B.     Classroom management strategies……………………………………….11

C.     Strategies for test-taking……………………………………………..…..11

X.                 Conclusion  ………………………………………………………………….11

 

 

 

 

             Among the innumerable methods and strategies of teaching, I have outlined eight vital elements. Included in my research are the following methods or strategies for teaching: teacher expectation, motivation, Bloom’s Taxonomy, reading strategies, writing strategies, math strategies, technology, and classroom management strategies. Now I will proceed to probe a little deeper and explain each method.

            The first, and perhaps one of the most important strategies for teaching, is teacher expectation. According to the book, Educational Psychology, teachers jump to conclusions about their students from the very first time he or she sees them. They even undervalue the academic abilities of their students based on how the students look, their behaviors, their dialects, and their ethnicity. Teachers also misjudge the abilities of students who come from low-income homes, and students who are recent immigrants (Ormrod, 2006).

These false perceptions affect teacher expectations of their students’ performance, which causes them to behave differently toward particular students (Ormrod, 2006). For example, if teachers have high expectations for their students, they would produce a warmer classroom climate, interact with students more often, provide more opportunities for students to respond, and give more positive feedback to their students. By doing this, students will feel comfortable asking their teacher questions, they will learn more, and they will be encouraged and motivated to learn (Ormrod, 2006).

On the contrary, if they have low expectations for their students, they will offer few opportunities for speaking in class, ask easier questions, give less feedback and provide fewer challenging assignments for their students (Ormrod, 2006). By doing this, students may not feel that they can accomplish the given task. They may figure that if the teacher doesn’t think they can do it, then they probably can’t. By setting high expectations for students to learn, teachers are setting the tone for success for all students in the classroom.

The second method or strategy of teaching involves motivation. Student motivation is essential in the learning process. Motivation increases the amount of effort and energy that students use in activities (Ormrod, 2006). It can make the difference in a student performing vigorously or reluctantly.  Motivation also increases the initiation and persistence in activities (Ormrod, 2006). Students are more likely to begin a task they can and want to do. They are also more likely to continue a task until they have finished it. Motivation increase students’ time on task, which is a very important factor affecting their learning and achievement. Also, it leads to improved performance. Students who are most motivated to learn tend to be the highest achievers (Ormrod, 2006). On the contrary, those who are least motivated tend to be at risk for dropping out of school.

            Additionally, there are two forms of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is motivation that is promoted by factors external to the individual and unrelated to the task being performed (Ormrod, 2006). For example, if a student doesn’t like math and is taking a math class for the solitary reason of receiving at least a “C” as a requirement for admissions to a particular college, this student is exemplifying extrinsic motivation. His or her motivation is conditional. Intrinsic motivation is the internal desire to perform a particular task (Ormrod, 2006). An example of intrinsic motivation would be a student taking a challenging math class because it causes him/her to think and it may help him/her in his/her profession.

            Moreover, teachers can help to motivate their students. They can do this by providing their students with visual aids to explain abstract concepts. Besides this, they can incorporate hands-on activities that may get the students more involved and interested in the lesson being taught. In addition, teachers can help create a connection when teaching new material. By connecting their prior knowledge with the new material, learning the new material would be a lot easier to do for them.

            The third method or strategy of teaching involves using learning domains, or Bloom’s Taxonomy. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom, identified three domains of educational activities (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2007). The three domains include the following: the cognitive domain (knowledge- including mental skills); the affective domain (attitude- including growth in feelings or emotional areas); and the psychomotor domain (skills- involving physical skills). In the classroom, teachers should focus very heavily on the cognitive domain in particular.

There are six major categories in the cognitive domain which can be thought of as degrees of difficulty (Kubiszyn et al., 2007). The knowledge category is the lowest category which involves the recalling of information only. The comprehension category involves understanding meaning and making translations. The application category involves the use of a concept in a new situation (Kubiszyn et al., 2007).

The analysis category involves distinguishing between facts and inferences. The synthesis category involves the putting of parts together to form a whole, while creating a new meaning. The evaluation category involves making judgments about the merit of ideas (Kubiszyn et al., 2007).

Teachers should implement a combination of the various level of Bloom’s Taxonomy in each lesson. However, they should use the knowledge levels less often, due to the fact that it requires the simple recalling of information.

The fourth method of teaching includes reading strategies. A report from the National Reading Panel (NRP) explains a strategy for instruction in phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is simply when children focus on and manipulate phonemes. Phonics instruction focuses on letter-sound correspondences and their use in reading and spelling. Its main focus is to help the reader understand how letters are linked to sounds to form spelling patterns.

Fluency occurs when a reader is able to read orally with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. The NRP stated that guided repeated oral reading procedures that include guidance from teachers, peers, or parents had a significant and positive impact on word recognition, fluency and comprehension across a range of grade levels. They also stated that it is more effective than independent silent reading.

Teaching vocabulary is most effective as long as it is appropriate for the age and ability of the reader. The NRP report stated that a combination of the following comprehension instruction techniques is most effective: comprehensive monitoring (being aware of one’s understanding of the material), graphic and semantic organizers, summarization, cooperative learning, and story structure (where students are taught to use the structure of the story as a means to recall content).

Another report from the Report of the NEA Task Force on Reading 2000 stated that there is no one way to teach reading that works for all children all the time. This same report stated that the teacher, not the method, makes the real difference in reading success.

The two reports both recommend that a systematic phonics instruction is to be integrated along with phonemic awareness, fluency and comprehension strategies to create a complete reading program. Teachers, especially in the elementary grades, can use these techniques as a way to teach young students how to read.

In addition, the herringbone pattern is used for students in the secondary setting. It is used for the synthesizing of information after pre-reading or skimming a chapter. Students fill the herringbone pattern with the main ideas of the chapter including who is speaking, when it occurred, and where it occurred. Students write phrases on the diagonal lines designated by each question. In the center of the herringbone pattern is the main idea.

The story map is another method for students in secondary school. It is a useful way to get the main ideas of a novel into a usable form on paper. Students write the name of the novel at the top of the page and the title of each chapter on the top of each box. After reading each chapter, they fill the chapter box with information to remind them of what occurred in the chapter.

            The fifth method of teaching includes writing. Writing requires many related abilities, including facility in spoken language, the ability to read, skills in spelling, and legible handwriting (Lerner & Kline, 2006).

A learning strategy approach called self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) is an explicit, structured approach to teaching writing (Lerner et al., 2006). It helps students develop acknowledge of writing, supports students in the ongoing development of the abilities needed to monitor and manage their writing, and promotes students’ development of positive attitudes about writing. There are six stages which includes the following: develop background knowledge, discuss it, model it, memorize it, support it, and independent performance (Lerner et al., 2006).

Moreover some strategies for teaching written expression include the following: provide opportunities for extensive writing, establish a writing environment, allow students to select their own topics, model the writing process and thinking aloud, transfer ownership and control of the writing to the students, capitalize on students’ interest, avoid punitive grading, schedule frequent writing, and use the cloze procedure (Lerner et al., 2006).

Some strategies for teaching spelling include the following: auditory perception and memory of letter sounds, visual memory of words, multi-sensory method in spelling, the Fernald Method (tracing a word, saying the word several times, and writing the word while saying it), the “test-study-test” versus “study-test” methods (including a pretest), listening centers, audiotapes, and CDs, and electronic spellers and computer spell-checkers (Lerner et al., 2006).

 

Some strategies for teaching handwriting include chalkboard activities, other materials for writing-movement practice, position (preparing students for writing by sitting in comfortable chairs), paper (placed without a slant for manuscript writing), holding the pencil (students with writing disorders do no know how to correctly hold a pencil), stencils and templates, tracing, dot-to-dot, tracing with reducing cues, lined paper, and verbal cues (Lerner et al., 2006).

About 6 percent to 7 percent of the students in general education classes show evidence of a serious mathematical difficulty (Lerner et al., 2006). About 26 percent of students with learning disabilities show problems in the area of mathematics. Over 50 percent of students with disabilities have mathematics goals written in their individualized education programs (IEPs) (Cass, Cates, Smith, & Jackson, 2003). Mathematics difficulties that are present in elementary school often continue through the secondary school years (Cass et al., 2003).

Math anxiety is an emotion-based reaction to mathematics that causes individuals to freeze up when they confront math problems or when they take math tests (Lerner et al., 2006). Math anxiety blocks the school performance of students with mathematics disabilities by making it difficult for them to learn mathematics. It also hinders their ability to use the mathematics knowledge they have.

A sixth method of teaching includes math strategies. Teachers could help reduce math anxiety in students in a number of ways. They can use competition carefully by having students compete with themselves instead of others and make sure students have a good chance of succeeding. They could also make instructions clear and give students plenty opportunities to practice. Teachers can avoid time pressures and give students plenty of time to complete math assignments. They can also try to remove pressure from the test-taking situations by giving practice tests and making sure the students are familiar with the test format (Lerner et al., 2006).

There are some effective instructional strategies in mathematics for secondary students. Teachers can provide many examples to illustrate the concept being taught. They can also provided practice with various problem types. Teachers can provide explicit instruction because students with mathematics disabilities need direct instruction that is organized with step-by-step presentations (Lerner et al., 2006).

Learning mathematics is a gradual process. Teachers should use direct instruction when teaching mathematics. This method helps students achieve mastery of mathematics skills through instruction that is explicit, carefully structured, and planned (Lerner et al., 2006). Teachers, who use direct instruction break tasks into small steps, administer probes to determine if the students are learning, supply immediate feedback, provide diagrams to enhance understanding, and provide a lot of independent practice for the students (Lerner et al., 2006).

Learning strategies instruction helps students with mathematical disabilities to acquire specific procedures for meeting the challenges of mathematics and to take control of their own mathematics learning (Deshler, 2003). Teachers who implement a learning strategies instruction model provided elaborate explanations, model learning processes, and provide prompts to use strategies. They also engage in teacher-student dialogues and ask processing questions (Deshler, 2003).

Problem solving is the most difficult area of mathematics for many students with mathematics disabilities (Lerner et al., 2006). According to Van de Walle, there is a three-step structure to teach mathematics problem solving lessons. First, students should translate the problem into their own language. The teacher should make sure they understand what is expected. Then, they have a chance to work without guidance and the teacher lets go and provides hints. Lastly, there is a class discussion on the solutions (Lerner et al., 2006).

Learning mathematics should be an active process. Teachers can better help students learn mathematics by providing students with hands-on learning materials and manipulatives to help them see, touch, and move objects (Lerner et al., 2006). They should also encourage students to use mathematics for solving real-life problems.

The seventh method of teaching is the use of technology. Word processing and e-mail has been noted for advancing communication skills (Beirne-Smith, Patton, & Kim, 2006). The usage of the database and spreadsheet programs promotes organizational skills. The modeling software enhances one’s understanding of science and mathematic conception (Beirne-Smith et al., 2006).

Students with mathematics difficulties may fine talking calculators useful. When a number is pressed, it is vocalized by the speech synthesizer in the calculator and the user gets auditory feedback (Lerner et al., 2006). Mathematics software programs may be useful for those with learning disabilities because computers motivate students, provide feedback, offer repetition, and offer clear directions.

In addition, in 2004, the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (AT Act) was in effect. The AT Act supported the development of programs that ensure access to assistive technology devices and services for the disabled (Auxter & Huettig, 2005).  Assistive technology includes a plethora of devices. Off-the-shelf technologies are used to enhance the learning of a mentally retarded individual. For example, an audiotape is used for an individual who has problems with their memory. Also, there are special keyboards for those who have inadequate hand and finger mobility-the mentally retarded (Auxter et al., 2005). Although these individuals may be disabled, technology still plays a major role in their learning process. In addition to this, word processing may teach students with mental retardation to edit their work and to make frequent revisions without strenuous writing.

            There are other computer-based learning tools to assist those who are mentally retarded. For example, widgets are tools that are used for drill and practice (Auxter et al., 2005). Teachers can either create their own or use widgets that are already created. Teachers use widgets to model, demonstrate, or elaborate on certain skills. They also allow teachers to decide when to move to a more difficult or less difficult problem. Personal digital assistants or PDAs are useful to those who are disabled as well (Auxter et al., 2005). They could serve as a graphing calculator, as a reminder to take medications, or to beam lecture notes directly from the teacher, instead of relying of a note-taker. Hearing aids are electronic, battery operated devices that magnify and change sound to allow for improved communication. These hearing aids are a form of assistive technology for those who are mildly hearing impaired (Auxter et al., 2005).

The eighth method of teaching is classroom management. The Positive Discipline approach is based on the work of Rudolf Dreikurs. Dreikurs believed that misbehavior was the result of attempts to find belonging and significance in unacceptable ways. Those mistaken attempts resulted in misbehaviors.  Dreikurs and Adler created the “Mistaken Goal Chart” that describes several misbehaviors and helps educators to understand the belief behind the behavior. Positive Discipline includes creating an atmosphere of respect, using positive discipline classroom management tools, and using encouragement.

With the Positive Discipline approach, punishment is never a good way of handling misbehavior. However, logical consequences should be related, respectful, reasonable, and revealed.

According to the article, Managing Behavior Via Teaching Style, inappropriate behaviors can be reduced or eliminated if the following procedures are performed: there is a “do now” activity in which the students start working on as soon as they enter the classroom, the lessons are interesting and challenging, there is a variety of instructional presentations, such as guest speakers, group work and the use of computers, and there is a closure activity at the end of the lesson.

The article also listed strategies for classroom management when taking tests. Teachers should sit in the back of the classroom when giving a test. By doing this, students will be more nervous about cheating. It also stated to give tests that require short essays, instead of true/false, fill-in-the-blank, or multiple-choice questions. Tests like these make it harder to cheat. The article stated to explain to students that if they get their papers back with points taken off, it was because they were caught cheating. Taking away the paper during the test may cause a disturbance that will give other students an opportunity to cheat.

In conclusion, teachers are providing opportunities for students to be successful when they have high expectations of their students. Teachers can also incorporate hands-on activities to get the students more involved and interested in the lesson as a means of motivation for them to learn. Teachers should implement a combination of the various level of Bloom’s Taxonomy in each lesson. 

Additionally, there are several methods and strategies of teaching, depending on the subject being taught. When teaching reading, one must understand that a systematic phonics instruction should be integrated along with phonemic awareness, fluency and comprehension strategies to create a complete reading program. When teaching writing, teachers could use the self-regulated strategy development approach, provide opportunities for extensive writing, and use the Fernald Method.

            When teaching math, a teacher can prevent math anxiety by avoiding time pressures and giving students plenty of time to complete math assignments. They can also use direct instruction and provide many examples to illustrate the concepts. Providing practice with various problem types would be beneficial as well.

Moreover, technology can be used to advance communication skills. Other computer-based learning tools, such as widgets, are available to provide drill and practice for those who are mentally retarded.  Still word processors help students edit there work and make frequent revisions.

Furthermore, the Positive Discipline method includes creating an atmosphere of respect, using positive discipline classroom management tools. Also, teachers could provide “do now” activities, assignments that are interesting to the students and a variety of different instructional presentations to prevent or reduce inappropriate behavior in the classroom.

 

 

 

                                                         References

 

 

Auxter, D., Pyfer, J., & Huettig, C. (2005). Principles and Methods of Adapted Physical Education and Recreation. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

 

Beirne-Smith, M., Patton, J. R., & Kim, S. H. (2006). Mental Retardation: An Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill- Prentice Hall.

 

Cass, M., Cates, D., Smith, M., & Jackson, C. (2003). Learning Disabilities Research & Practice. 18(2), 112-120.

 

Deshler, D. (2003). Learning Disabilities Association Newsbriefs, 38(3), 3-10, 24.

 

Kubiszyn, T. & Borich, G. (2007). Educational Testing and Measurement: Classroom Application and Practice. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

Lerner, J., & Kline, F. (2006). Learning Disabilities and Related Disorders: Characteristics and Teaching Strategies. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin.

 

Ormrod, J. E. (2006). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill-Prentice Hall.

 

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