When developing lesson plans I keep a list of instructional strategies handy or peruse the web for a new idea. These are two instructional strategies that I use often once we have delved into a lesson. I also walk around the room and "eaves drop" on the conversations that are taking place among group members. I will at time seat with a group and ask questions like I am a member of the group for reinforcement of how the task should be carried out. I try to pair students with different abilities together.
Think‐Pair‐Share - The learning activity involves explaining answers/ideas to another student. The instructor poses a question to the class. Students write a response and then share it with a student nearby. Students clarify their positions and discuss points of agreement and disagreement. The instructor can use several answers to illustrate important points or facilitate a whole class discussion.
-. Instructor poses question to class
-. Students write a response (1‐2 minutes)
-. Students pair up with another student nearby
-. Each student explains his/her response to the other
-. If they disagree, each clarifies his/her position and determine how/why they disagree
Why use it?
-. Keep students engaged in large classes
-. Prime students for whole class discussion
-. Target key concepts for review
-. Enhance students’ metacognition—they become more aware of gaps in their thinking
-. Student responses are feedback to the instructor about how they are making sense of the material.
2 Group Writing Assignments -The learning activity involves collaborative work that culminates in a group‐authored document. Assign groups to write (and submit) Wikipedia entries on course‐related topics or create study guides for the course.
-. Use a wiki, Google Docs, or Office Live for collaborative writing
-. Use assignment that has authentic purpose and audience such as creating Wikipedia entries or study guides for the course
-. Establish guidelines to scaffold the process
Why use it?
-. Use writing‐to‐learn to help students develop and revise ideas
-. Students have opportunities to see how other students view the same topic
-. An assignment with an authentic purpose and audience can increase students’ interest and commitment.