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Classroom Strategies

Heidi Orman

Ivy Tech Community College


Classroom Strategies

Chapter 4

Strategy: Using Feedback to Improve Learning and Behavior

 Be explicit about what students are doing well – ideally, at the time they are doing it.
 Give concrete guidance about how students can improve their performance.
 Communicate optimism that students can improve.
 Do not overwhelm students with too much feedback; tell them only what they can
reasonably attend to and remember at a time.
 Minimize feedback when students already know exactly what they have done well or
 Teach students strategies for appropriately asking for feedback
Strategy: Addressing Student’s stereotypes and prejudices
 Use curriculum materials that represent all cultures and ethnic groups as competent,
legitimate participants in mainstream society, rather than as exotic curiosities who live in
a separate world.
 Assign literature depicting peers from diverse cultural backgrounds.
 Conduct class discussions about prejudice and racism that exist in the school and local
 Expose students to successful role models from various ethnic backgrounds.
 Ask students to draw a picture of a professional in a particular job setting and use the
drawings to discuss stereotypes students may have about particular professions.
 Ask students to identify biases against particular cultural groups in TV show clips,
commercials, and film trailers.
 Assign small-group cooperative projects in which students from diverse backgrounds
must combine their unique talents to achieve a common goal.
 Emphasize that some people affiliate with two or more cultural groups and that individual
members of any single group are often very different from one another in behaviors,
beliefs, and values.

Chapter 5
Strategy: Enhancing Self-Efficacy and Self-Worth
 Teach basic knowledge and skills to mastery.
 Define success in terms of task accomplishment or improvement, not in terms of
performance relative to others.
 Assure students that they can be successful at challenging tasks, and point out that others
like them have succeeded before them.
 Assign large, complex tasks as small-group activities.
 Help students track their progress.
 When negative feedback is necessary, present it in a way that communicates competence
and the ability to improve.
Strategy: Forming Productive Expectations and Attributions
 Look for strengths in every student.
 Consider multiple possible explanations for students’ low achievement and classroom
 Communicate optimism about what students can accomplish.
 Objectively assess students’ progress, and be open to evidence that contradicts your
initial assessments of students’ abilities.
 Attribute students’ successes to a combination of high ability and such controllable
factors as effort and learning strategies.
 Attribute students’ failure to factors that are controllable and easily changed.
 When students fail despite obvious effort, attribute their failures to a lack of effective
strategies and help them acquire such strategies.
 Remember that teachers can definitely make a difference.
Strategy: Showing and Promoting Caring
 Have students work together on some learning tasks.
 Continually communicate the message that you like and respect your students.
 Praise students privately when being a high achiever is not sanctioned by peers.
 Create a classroom culture in which respect for everyone’s needs and well-being is
Strategy: Easing the Transition to Middle and Secondary School
 Provide a means through which every student can feel part of a small, close-knit group.
 Address students’ personal and social needs as well as their academic needs.
 Teach students the skills they need to be successful independent learners.
 Assign grades based on mastery (not on comparisons with peers), and provide reasonable
opportunities for improvement.

Chapter 6
Strategy: Working with Students Who Have Exceptional Abilities and Talents
 Individualize instruction in accordance with students’ specific talents.
 Form study groups of students who have similar abilities and interests.
 Teach complex cognitive skills within the context of specific school topics rather than
separately from the regular school curriculum.
 Provide opportunities for independent study.
 Engage students in challenging, multifaceted public service projects (i.e., service learing).
 Encourage students to set high goals for themselves.
 Seek outside resources to help students develop their exceptional talents.
 Ask students to prepare part of a lesson.
Strategy: Working with Students Who Have Significant Delays in Cognitive Development
 Introduce new material at a slower pace, and provide many opportunities for practice.
 Explain tasks and expected behaviors concretely and in very specific language.
 Give students explicit guidance about how to study.
 Encourage independence.
 Provide technology that can enhance students’ self-reliance.
Strategy: Conducting Effective Discovery and Inquiry Learning Activities
 Identify a concept or principle about which students can learn something significant
through interaction with their physical or social environment.
 Make sure students have the necessary prior knowledge to make sense of what they
 Show puzzling results to create disequilibrium and arouse curiosity.
 Structure and guide a discovery session so that students proceed logically toward
discoveries you want them to make.
 Have students record their findings.
 Help students relate their findings to concepts and principles in the academic discipline
they’re studying.
Strategy: Promoting Productive Dispositions
 Communicate your own enthusiasm for learning about new topics.
 Model open- mindedness about diverse viewpoints and a willingness to suspend
judgment until all the facts are in.
 Conduct learning activities in which students collaborate to address intriguing,
multifaceted issues.
 Ask students to evaluate the quality of scientific evidence, and scaffold their efforts
sufficiently that they can reach appropriate conclusions.