Making a Difference in the Classroom: What Works Best?

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Great educators are constantly searching for ways to enhance learning outcomes for their students. Learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills and abilities individual students should possess and can demonstrate at the completion of a lesson or sequence of learning experiences. So how can we tackle student improvement when there are so many classroom strategies and styles of teaching to consider?

Here are five themes that are likely to make the greatest difference to our pupils:

1. Use of Engaging and High-Quality Teaching Materials:

When educators make the content of the lesson relevant and engaging, the students will be more at-ease and find learning enjoyable. Colourful presentations and games can help to attract students interests which allows the teacher to understand the cognitive needs of their learners in order to make sense of the world. If you are searching for useful teacher resources websites, Resources for Teaching (https://resourcesforteaching.com.au) have some wonderful materials including task cards, posters, presentations and worksheets that are easy to incorporate in lessons and keep learning engaging! In the 21st century, the best teacher resources are easily accessible through websites as they can be downloaded immediately and shared with your students in hard or soft copy.

2. Effective Communication:

This is a critical component in the development of children and enables positive relationships to flourish in the classroom. It’s all about creating dialogue between your students in order to build and foster an atmosphere where students can thrive, prosper and learn successfully. Effective communication can be developed through team activities and groupwork where students talk and express themselves with their peers.

3. High Expectations:

High expectations are key for improving students learning outcomes in both their academic achievement and their wellbeing. Most children have reported that significant teachers; those making a positive difference, expect them to succeed. It’s true that teachers’ beliefs about their students influence how they interact and teach them. Students perform better when they know their teachers have high expectations of them, and the reverse is also true. If teachers don’t expect much of their students, then they are less likely to achieve their full potential

4. Classroom Management:

Classroom management is fundamental for creating the right conditions for learning. It not only helps to minimise disruptive behaviours and address levels of disengagement, but also ensures students who are working above criteria are engaged and have a purpose too. So how can we handle discipline problems in the classroom? Consistency is key, students must know what the boundaries are; they should not change no matter if it’s the day before school holidays or some kind of special event otherwise confusion and rule breaking will arise.

Of course, teachers must reward good behaviour, and long-term behaviour systems are great for doing this. If you’re searching for teaching resources in Australia that can support you, the Resources for Teaching website has some materials specifically for behaviour management. Their Whole Class Reward Mazes are great as they encourage students to work together and demonstrate positive behaviour to receive fun rewards that don’t cost you a penny. (https://resourcesforteaching.com.au/all-resources/whole-class-reward-mazes-and-tickets/)

5. Using Data to Inform Practice:

Educators use data to check and understand where students are in their learning and to plan what to do next. Through effective analysis of student data, teachers can identify areas where students’ learning needs may require extra attention and development. We can formulate an organised plan based on the data that’s been collected through pre-assessment and post-assessments as well as during observations. When teachers make data actionable, they make assessment matter. To fully benefit from assessment, students and teachers must use the data to facilitate meaningful change.

The author is a writer who often publishes articles on health and education for their readers online. She also manages a website that offers a range of teaching resources online. Visit https://resourcesforteaching.com.au/ for more information.

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