Instructional strategies engage learners by matching lessons to the learner's interests, understanding, and developmental level. Instructional strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve a learning objective. These strategies include hands-on and authentic activities and range from direct, interactive and indirect instruction to independent study and experiential learning. Helping learners connect to concepts about to be taught by using activities that relate to or determine the level of their existing knowledge is the convergence of the art and science of teaching. Educators who live in this intersection are truly masters of their craft.
Here in the San Ramon Valley Unified, we have many teachers who study their craft with a continued search to find and share best practices (strategies) with their students and colleagues. Classroom observations are common practice on many campuses. The Coaches Council represents teachers at all levels K-12 who wrote a grant through the San Ramon Education Foundation to study and learn together. This year, they received a $10,000.00 grant to support their own learning and professional development. They frequently host classroom observations as they try new ideas to push their thinking in 21st century skills.
There are various methods of instruction that teachers use to demonstrate student learning as well as instructional skills that assist in structuring appropriate learning experiences for students. Instructional skills are also necessary for procedural purposes and for structuring appropriate learning experiences for students. Explaining, demonstrating and questioning are all examples of these skills. Booms taxonomy identifies the cognitive learning domains used to achieve the highest level of thinking. Click here to learn more about Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Additional links to help teachers guide their own growth along the continuum of learning are the Standards for the Teaching Profession. They can be found using this link to the CDE website.