EDU 6526 Instructional Strategies

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 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.


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


Research and Information Fluency -EDTC6431

Research and Information Fluency

Module 3 Reflection


I have really had a great week this week. I have found a better balance of time this session.  I learned about our new tools and explored these tools all while having great ongoing discussions which have been exciting.  Although, there seemed to be a rather large amount to get through this week, it all seemed to be seamlessly connected.  The online tools,, and all offer another way to connect, share information and research to promote a new teaching opportunity. However, I am still unsure of the viability of some in the classroom.  Our readings provided the basic knowledge of these tools, insight into research for students and teachers and an in depth retrospective of technology over the last 20 years.

In the reading, Beyond the Book, the author explains how the superintendent, James Tenbusch, is teaching students to think critically, to become researchers and to focus on the bigger picture. “Students, more than just typing keywords into Google, learn how to come to an answer independently, using their own ideas about the lesson, subject, or debate at hand. According to Tenbusch, schools teach kids how to read, write, and add, but they generally don’t teach them how to speculate, hypothesize, and free associate.”  Tenbusch goes on to provided examples of how to get started and references to research sites and strategies finding multiple sources.  This article coincided nicely with our exploration of diigo, a tool used for social bookmarking, annotation, archiving and organizing.

I found diigo to be extremely user friendly.  diigo provides options for collecting, highlighting, storing and sharing information- all at the click of a button.  I even signed up for our class group page and have shared a few items of interest with the class.  I can see great value in this tool as I move forward and begin the collection process that will become part of my curriculum.  To be able to share this with other teachers and to be a part of groups of like-minded and engaged individuals while keeping a personal record of sites I have found useful ,as well as any notes about these sites, is incredible.  I feel like diigo offers what facebook, twitter, email, blogging, annotating and organizing site all offer separately but conveniently in one spot.   I am sold on this tool!

I also explored twitter and although I have signed up and become part of this classes twitter group I am not altogether sure I am convinced of the value in an elementary age setting.  I recognize that it could be a useful tool for sharing information among teachers but I have a hard time picturing the practicality in the class room itself.  However, I did like the ideas throughout our discussions this week of using for daily thoughts or updates for parents so that they could know what was happening in the class. When I signed up and began the exploration of twitter I found the constant spew of trivial tweets overwhelming and ridiculous but once I set up a group to follow it narrowed the number of tweets and focused my interests.  I think I have to give twitter more time, like I said in one of my tweets, the jury is still out.

I really enjoyed the video from Edutopia, Using Today’s Technology Tools to Study Yesterday’s, and valued the span of technological tools and hands on tools this school incorporated into this project.  It was amazing to see the teachers work as a collaborative team to expand the students’ knowledge.  Through the guidance of the teachers each group of students was able to present their own unique and working design.  The students seemed empowered by this project and genuinely involved in every group doing well as they competed for the best design.  I attached this additional video to show another example of project based learning from an elementary school in Waterville Washington.  The teacher, Diane Peterson says, “kids use their own personal level” when addressing the abilities of students with regards to art, science, technology and math.   They work together with local farmers and staff from the University of Washington to form relationships and integrate each individual’s knowledge through group work and shared technology.

Overall I found this week full of useful tools to explore more.  I am sure that I will continue to use diigo and will have to wait and see what the verdict is on twitter.  I think that information fluency is key, and, with diigo I found that fluency to be user friendly, easy to organize, re-visit, and annotate.  I think that the more tools and techniques we have for research and sharing tools with other teachers and students the better off we will all be.


Moses, Alexandra R. (August 2008) Beyond the Book- a New Role for Your Students. Edutopia Retrieved from

Edutopia. (Release Date 6/25/08)  Using Today’s Technology Tools to Study Yeasterday’s Edutopia, Retrieved from

Edutopia, (Release Date 3/8/2005) Overview: Technology Empowers Student Fieldwork, Edutopia, Retrieved from