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4 Instructional Strategies Examples that Will Enhance Your Teaching

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List of Instructional Strategies for Secondary Teachers

“A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary”

I love that quote because you should be able to back away from teaching a bit and allow students to learn independently. If you get used to using these instructional strategies, you may be able to only tell them that the strategy is the plan and they continue on with little guidance.

Why You Need Instructional Strategies in Your Teaching

Have you been asked to include instructional strategies in your lesson planning? You use them all the time and may not realize you are!

Instructional strategies are the tools teachers use to help students learn the content. They help students learn the content and can become routine in a well-run classroom. Let’s look at some instructional strategies for teachers:

1- Think-Pair-Share Sounds complicated, but it isn’t! Say you have a lot of information to teach students but you don’t feel like lecturing all period. Instead you:

  • You give each student a chunk of the information to learn or think about. (for instance, each student gets a sheet describing each cooking method).
  • Tell students to pair up with a small group or one other student and they teach or share each other about their chunk of the information.
  • This may take a couple of classes depending on how much information is being taught.

Setting the Stage for Learning

2- KWL Chart This is a great instructional strategy that can start and end class. Students are given a KWL chart and at the beginning of the lesson.

  • Ask them to write down what they already know about the topic of the lesson. For instance (“what do you already know about herbs and spices?) They should feel comfortable to write anything they know if it is right or wrong.
  • You then present to them the objective of the lesson (“students will be able to identify 5 herbs and spices and their uses”). Have students write in the middle column of the KWL what they “want” to learn by the end of the lesson.
  • Teach the lesson….at the end of class have them write down what they learned from the lesson. This can be handed in to you and can be an exit ticket as well as giving you and idea of what the students knew before and the learning that took place.
instructional strategies examples for teachers
Click the KWL chart to download and use this instructional strategy!

3- Bell Ringers- These are considered “anticipatory sets” as your college education professor would say. These get your students thinking about the class and they help set the tone for your class. Once you establish that students should enter the classroom and get right to work on the bell ringer for the day, students will know what to expect in your class (and it makes your life a whole lot easier). These can also prompt great discussions about what you are teaching. We have a free set of culinary arts bell ringers you can try out!

bell ringers for high school
Here is a set of free bell ringer journal entries for culinary arts. We also have career exploration bell ringers!

Instructional Strategy to Get Them Moving!

4- Gallery Walk Gallery walks are a hit because they get the kids up and moving while learning and looking at other students’ work. If you are able to use the hallway near your classroom to continue the gallery walk in a larger area, that is an added bonus!

  • Assign students a topic or a part of a topic and have them create posters or visuals about the topic. For example (each student is assigned a famous chef).
  • The visuals are hung around the classroom or even in the hallway.
  • Students have an information recording sheet and gather information from the posters as they walk around and read the visuals or posters. You can use a rubric to grade them on the information that they gathered. You can also have them present the information they learned.
famous chef project for family and consumer science and culinary arts
Students walk around the classroom and gather information about each chef after creating a poster each.

Other Types of Gallery Walks

1- Graffiti Walk- Write headings or topics on paper and have students brainstorm on each paper as they walk around the room. If you are teaching culinary arts for instance, you can write “muffin recipe” and have students brainstorm types of muffins and ingredients that they think would go well in the muffins. You can also write down vocabulary words and have students draw pictures depicting the words.

2- “I like, I wonder” Walk– Have students or groups display their work around the room and have a blank paper attached. Classmates give feedback on each project by writing one thing they like and one question they have or an “I wonder”. This should be a quick walk and can be fun for students to read the results.

This website has a great description of how exactly to set up a Gallery Walk with your students. It includes good ideas for information gathering variations as well!

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