EDU 6526-Instructional Strategies

Direct Instruction and Simulations

*In what ways can teachers provide feedback?*

Teachers can provide feedback in many constructive ways to help students with content acquisition and provide assessment for understanding a concept. One of the most important feedback tools is through questioning the students. “Effective teachers ask more questions that check the student understanding than less effective teachers (Rosenshine, 1985).” (p. 370). By questioning the students, teachers are able to provide immediate and clarifying feedback as a preparation to a lesson. Proactive teachers are successful at promptly responding to student’s feedback in a positive manner, clarifying any immediate misconceptions and probing for additional information. An effective teacher does this during structured practice to help students understand what background knowledge they already have, introduction of a new concept and the connections between the two. “To be effective feedback must be academic, corrective, respectful and deserved.” (p. 371). Since, “…students spend between 50 and 75 percent of their time working alone on tasks (Rosenshire, 1985)”, it is imperative that they have a thorough understanding of expectations. This is provided through teacher’s direct and constructive questioning methods and positive feedback.

*Discuss qualities of an effective teacher under the direct instruction model.*

The direct instruction model consists of five steps: “orientation, presentation, structured practice, guided practice, and independent practice.” (p. 372). The effective teacher must, first and foremost, be well prepared. In the first step the effective teacher must lay the foundation and framework for what is expected from the lesson. In building the foundation and frame work for a lesson the effective teacher shares expectations, provides examples of how the lesson relates to prior knowledge or life experience, develops a structure of how the lesson is going to flow, and presents responsibilities of both student and teacher. The second step is the introduction of the new material or concept. In this step demonstrations are vital to providing support for knowledge acquisition. It is important to provide, “…information both orally and visually so that the students will have the visual representation as a reference in the early stages of learning.” (p. 373). The third step involves the teacher leading the student through practice. By guiding the students the teacher is able to apply knowledge correctly and model the application appropriately. This allows the students to see and participate in the task correctly with the teachers guidance. In fourth step the teacher pulls back to observe as the student practice on their own. The teacher is available to support but is not directly involved. This step provides the students and opportunity to practice in a supported environment. Lastly, the fifth step has the student practicing on their own without the help of the teacher. This is often through a homework-type of assignment or through an assessment-type assignment that can be evaluated and feedback offered in a timely manner. To be truly effective the teacher must follow these guidelines to ensure the students ability to process information and practice on their own. There should be follow up lessons periodically (more frequent at first) that revisit concepts attained to ensure maximum retention of information. The teacher must play a positive role in delivery and constructive feedback in order to keep the momentum and motivation up in the classroom. Direct instruction is designed to “…generate and sustain motivation through pacing and reinforcement. Through success and positive feedback, it tries to enhance self-esteem.” (p. 374)

*Describe a unique instructional scenario that involves simulation.*

Simulation is the use of situation to create a “believable/real” environment to explore deeper the events or actions dealing with a given situation. There are various ways in which simulation can be presented in a classroom. For example simulation can occur through technology to explore driving in a driver’s education class or science class to explore geysers like in this PBS.org game. It could be used to design buildings in an architecture class or create a garden for horticulture. Simulation can also be explored through role play. For example in a third grade class I visited they were learning about the NW Coast Indians. The teacher broke the students up into groups of 4 and made each group member play a role: an elder, mother or aunt, father or uncle, and child. They all had to move their desks together to “be like” a clan-family and each group member then had to come up with names based on the naming style of the NW Coast Indians. Then they had to design and build a model of a longhouse together as a class and individual houses for their clan-families based on pictures and stories they had been studying. This was a fantastic way to have the student simulate what they were studying through role play and modeling of behavior, lifestyle and customs. In simulation practices the teacher has a very important role, “… raising the students’ consciousness about concepts and principles underpinning the simulations and their own reactions.” The teacher is responsible for four roles during simulation: “explaining, refereeing, coaching, and discussing.” (p. 383). Throughout this NW Coast Indians simulation the teacher exemplified each of these four qualities while allowing the students to explore naturally.

References:

Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). *Models of Teaching* (5^{th} Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

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I like the simulation examples you provided. I love that simulation can appeal greatly to kids because it is a lot like imaginative play. The example of a group of students assuming societal roles of a given society, as you described, helps them greatly understand how societies are similar and different. It would also help develop theory of mind in students by giving them practice to empathize. Thank you for your post, Sarah

Sarah-

In my reflection I also mentioned doing a simulation with students role playing NW Coastal Indians. I agree with Jenni’s comment that by putting students into these roles gives them a greater sense of empathy and introduces new perspectives.

The NW Coastal Indian simulation that I’ve seen modeled in the classroom is StoryPath (http://fac-staff.seattleu.edu/mmcguire/web/)–the students are fully invested in their roles and it leads to really powerful discussions and lessons. I highly recommend you check it out.

Thanks for sharing.

Whitney D.