For the sake of keeping it simple during the summer, we've collected a powerful, time-tested list of classroom hacks you can put to use the next time you deliver a lesson.
Have a clear goal for the lesson. Don’t keep it a secret. Let all the students know what they are expected to accomplish by the end of the lesson. Check in with the students during the lesson to see if they think they are meeting the goal.
Engage students with a question that can be answered by honoring their experience outside of school. Make questions relate to all students. Instead of asking, “Who owns a dog?” ask “Who in here knows someone who has a dog or who has ever had a dog or has seen a TV show about someone who had a dog?”
Make your review brief. Only review information/skills pertinent to the today’s lesson. Now is not the time to remediate skills that students do not have.
Spend time developing the concept. Use visual, including concept maps. Use a language frame so all students will be able to articulate the most important ideas.
Model. Model once, model twice and then allow the students to practice. Provide a visual for student reference.
Practice with feedback. Allow students to reference the visual. It is not a memory test. Provide feedback for each step of the procedure.
Be sure the students understand the new concept, the new skill, and the new academic language by asking the students to perform some task, or tasks, to prove their knowledge.
Provide practice that exactly matches the lesson you just taught.
The hacks listed above are not to be viewed as an a la carte menu. Include all the hacks to enhance student learning.
If you're worried you might forget one, never fear! We've developed a handy chart to help you remember these. We've called it the FAST framework.