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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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Feedback Lecture
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Responsive and Pause Procedure Lecture
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.
Pause Procedure Lecture
- Deliver a 20-minute lecture.
- 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.
- Responsive Lecture: Devote a class period to answering student-generated questions.
- Teaching experience.