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Teaching Methods on How to Lecture without Losing Control of the Class?

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 3/15/2012

Of all classroom teaching methods, lecturing is by far the most boring for students and teachers....until now.

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    I love Renaissance poetry. I couldn't wait to teach it. I knew my students would love my 18-hour slide show presentation on Renaissance poets. Twelve minutes in to class 41 out of 43 students were sleeping (the other two were playing video games). No matter what I tried, they wouldn't wake up. I continued teaching because the principal walked in for his yearly observation. Four minutes later, he was asleep.

    I took a nap.

    When I awoke, everyone was gone, and the principal had left a note on my desk:

    Dear Mr. Donne:

    You're fired. I recommend you try new classroom teaching methods as your current methods are ineffective. Your lectures are horrible. I recommend you try lecture-teaching methods centered on learning styles--when you find another job.


    Mr. Spenser

    I have yet to find another job and I can no longer afford to golf. With my free time I decided to post these lecture methods to prevent you from getting fired:

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    Feedback and Guided Lecture

    These different methods allow you to tell your principal that you use teaching methods centered on learning styles, and you don't even have to lie:

    1. Feedback Lecture
      • Assign reading and provide students with an outline of the lecture notes prior to the lecture.
      • Lecture for 10-15 minutes.
      • Divide students into groups for 15-20 minutes.
      • Assign each group a discussion question related to the material.
      • Continue the lecture.
      • Discuss the groups' answers as a class.
      • Repeat, if necessary.
    2. Guided Lecture
      • Provide students with a list of lecture objectives (copying them makes a good warm up activity.).
      • Instruct students to put away their writing instruments and listen.
      • After 15-20 minutes of lecturing, instruct students to write down everything they remembered,
      • After 5-minutes, put them in groups of 3-4 and have them discuss what they remembered.
      • Help students fill in missing notes.
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    Responsive and Pause Procedure Lecture

    1. Responsive Lecture: Devote a class period to answering student-generated questions.
      • The questions must be open ended.
      • They must be related to the unit of study.
      • Students must specify why they think the question is important.
      • The teacher answers as many questions as possible.
      • Another option includes the use of white boards.
    2. Pause Procedure Lecture
      • Deliver a 20-minute lecture.
      • Stop.
      • Have students exchange notes with another student.
      • Fill in missing information (on their own notes), or
      • Instruct students to stand up and face a partner.
      • Students quiz each other for one minute.

    I learned many of these techniques at an in-service my principal forced me to go to. The presenter's name was Julia Thomason. Here's a link to her stuff. If you click it, make sure you come back right away and leave a comment about how these methods worked for you.


  • Teaching experience.