Effective Teaching Strategies

Strategies for Direct Instruction

  • Specify clear lesson objectives
  • Teach directly to those objectives
  • Make learning as concrete and meaningful as possible
  • Provide relevant guided practice
  • Provide independent practice
  • Provide transfer practice activities

Strategies for Students with Disabilities *

  • Sequence – Break down the task, step by step prompts.
  • Drill-repetition and practice-review – Daily testing of skills, repeated practice, daily feedback.
  • Segment – Break down targeted skill into smaller units and then synthesize the parts into a whole.
  • Direct question and response – Teacher asks process-related questions and/or content-related questions.
  • Control the difficulty or processing demands of a task – Task is sequenced from easy to difficult and only necessary hints or probes are provided.
  • Technology – Use a computer, structured text, flow charts to facilitate presentation, emphasis is on pictorial representations.
  • Group Instruction – Instruction occurs in a small group, students and/or teacher interact with the group.
  • Supplement teacher and peer involvement – Use homework, parents, or others to assist in instruction.
  • Strategy clues – Reminders to use strategies or multi-steps, the teacher verbalizes problem solving or procedures to solve, instruction uses think-aloud models.

*Excerpted from Swanson, H.L. (1999). Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 14(3).

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.


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2016 Presidential Elections
Election season is here. Help your students understand the process of our national elections, from the President down to local representatives, with our election activities. Read short biographies of presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R), explore mock election ideas, create presidential trading cards, learn election vocabulary, play election bingo and more!

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September is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum! Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: U.S. Constitution Week (9/17-23), International Day of Peace (9/21), Autumn Begins (9/22), and Banned Books Week (9/25-10/1). Plus, celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Classical Music Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), Hunger Action Month, Hunger Action Month, Library Card Sign-Up Month, National Sickle Cell Month all September long!