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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