Ep 106 No-brainer hacks for effectively teaching a lesson

In this video, I cover how to deliver effective lessons in the classroom. I dive into how to explain concepts in a way that students understand, use lectures, have students read a text, watch a video, or solve a problem. If you’ve been struggling with figuring out how to actually TEACH a lesson, then this video is for you.

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Are you a new teacher struggling with how to effectively teach a new concept? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Today, you’ll learn the best methods for teaching, whether you’re introducing a new concept or reviewing it. Let’s explore how to explain concepts in multiple ways and ensure students truly understand them. Additionally, we’ll discuss effective strategies for getting students to practice the concepts, making the learning process more engaging and memorable. With these ideas, you’ll finally overcome the challenges of delivering successful lessons.

Part 1: Delivering a New Concept

Lecture: A Powerful Teaching Method

Lecturing is often misunderstood, but when done right, it can be highly effective. Instead of simply talking at the front of the classroom, try pairing your lecture with visuals or images. PowerPoint or Google Slides can provide visual representations that enhance understanding. However, avoid overwhelming slides with excessive text and bullet points, as this can bore students. If you must use slides with text, consider providing printed copies or digital versions for students to follow along.

To keep students engaged during a lecture, it’s essential to break it down into smaller chunks. Incorporate student participation and discussions at regular intervals. Prepare questions ahead of time to prompt student involvement and ensure they grasp the material. Encourage students to think, write, or discuss their answers, enhancing their comprehension and retention.

The Power of Analogies and Examples

When lecturing, strive to make concepts relatable by using analogies and examples. Analogies help students connect new information to familiar contexts, making it easier to understand. Imagine teaching someone to cook a dish without allowing them to practice along the way. Similarly, teaching a concept without providing opportunities for practice leads to forgetfulness. By offering analogies and examples, you create a more engaging and memorable learning experience. Prepare these analogies and examples in advance to ensure their effectiveness.

Relevance and Student Involvement

To make lessons more engaging, consider the relevance of the concepts to students’ lives. Incorporate pop culture references or real-world applications to help students relate to the material. By linking the concept to their interests or experiences, students are more likely to grasp its importance. Moreover, encourage students to contribute their own examples and analogies, fostering a collaborative and interactive learning environment.

Taking Notes and Visual Representations

Traditional note-taking during lectures can be tedious and boring for students. To alleviate this, break up your lecture into smaller segments and encourage students to create visual representations alongside their notes. These visual representations can be doodles, drawings, or any form that helps students process the information in a different way. By combining written notes and visual representations, students engage both their linguistic and visual learning styles.

Part 2: Reviewing or Reteaching a Concept

Reading a Text for Visual Representation

Reading a text can provide students with a visual representation that complements verbal explanations. Some students require the visual component to better process information. For students with special needs or those learning English as a second language, reading a text can be especially beneficial. Ensure the text is divided into smaller sections, accompanied by guiding questions or hints. This prevents students from feeling overwhelmed and encourages active engagement with the material.

Student Participation in Reading

Another strategy is to have students read the text together in groups, with each group member taking turns reading a paragraph. This collaborative approach helps maintain focus and breaks the monotony of continuous reading. However, consider your students’ abilities and preferences, as struggling readers might feel uncomfortable reading aloud. Gauge your class dynamics to determine if this method is suitable for them.

Learn Ahead of Time: The Flipped Classroom

In a flipped classroom model, students learn the material ahead of time using textbooks or online resources. They study and review the content independently, allowing class time to be used for deeper exploration, clarification, and application of the concepts. The flipped classroom model promotes active learning and student engagement.

To implement a flipped classroom approach, provide students with pre-recorded video lectures, reading materials, or online resources that cover the content. This allows students to learn at their own pace and review the material as needed. During class time, focus on activities that encourage application and critical thinking, such as problem-solving exercises, group discussions, hands-on experiments, or project-based learning. This approach allows for a more interactive and collaborative learning experience.

Interactive Activities and Games

When reviewing or reteaching a concept, incorporating interactive activities and games can make the learning process enjoyable and effective. Activities such as quizzes, puzzles, simulations, or educational games can help students reinforce their understanding and identify areas where they need further clarification. These activities can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups, depending on the class size and dynamics.

Concept Mapping and Graphic Organizers

Concept mapping and graphic organizers are visual tools that help students organize and connect information. They are particularly useful for reviewing or reteaching complex concepts. Provide students with a concept map template or graphic organizer related to the topic, and encourage them to fill in the blanks, create connections, and add relevant details. This visual representation helps students visualize the relationships between different components of the concept and aids in information retention.

Questioning and Discussion

Engage students in a question-and-answer session or a class discussion to review or reteach a concept. Encourage students to ask questions, share their insights, and participate in thoughtful discussions. This interactive approach allows students to clarify any misconceptions, deepen their understanding through peer-to-peer explanations, and make connections between different aspects of the concept. As the teacher, guide the discussion, provide additional explanations when necessary, and ensure that all students have the opportunity to contribute.

Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are ongoing evaluations used to monitor students’ learning progress and provide feedback. These assessments can take various forms, such as quizzes, short written assignments, concept-based questions, or group presentations. By incorporating formative assessments during the review or reteaching process, you can identify areas where students may still need support and adjust your teaching accordingly. Provide constructive feedback to help students improve their understanding and address any misconceptions.

Incorporating Multiple Modalities

People learn in different ways, so incorporating multiple modalities during the teaching process can be beneficial. Use a combination of visual aids, auditory explanations, hands-on activities, and interactive discussions to cater to different learning styles. This approach ensures that students with diverse learning preferences can grasp and retain the information more effectively.

When delivering a new concept, use effective teaching methods such as engaging lectures, analogies and examples, relevance to students’ lives, and visual representations. When reviewing or reteaching a concept, incorporate reading texts, student participation, flipped classroom strategies, interactive activities, concept mapping, questioning and discussion, formative assessments, and multiple modalities. By employing these methods, you can enhance student comprehension, engagement, and retention of the material.