Robert Marzano suggests using these 8 Strategies when teaching a new concept. We have used these strategies to demonstrate how to teach the meaning of a word commonly used in early research projects: compare.
1 A Clear Lesson Focus
State what you want the children to learn. Share the learning intention by writing it on the board. For example: “We are learning the meaning of the word compare“
2 Overt Instruction
Specifically teach what a word means by giving examples and non-examples. For example: Look at two pictures – a penguin and a seagull. Discuss what is the same and different about these two animals. List the features under the headings ‘Same/Different’. Explain that when we look at what is the same or different about two items we are comparing.
3 Engage Students with the Content
Link current learning to prior knowledge. Recall what they have learned , have them write down their learnings and provide graphic organisers to reinforce their learning and recall. For example: I am comparing …. and …., What I know about penguins…. What I know about seagulls….
4 Feedback to Students
Give immediate feedback about what is right and wrong and why. As the students become involved in the the discussion use the words, “Yes good work Jasmine, you have told us how the penguin is the same as the seagull because they both have two feet. You are comparing.”
5 Provide Multiple Exposures
Use John Hattie’s idea of ‘rehearsal and review’ – go over the terms until remembered and regularly recall learnings. Continue to use the term ‘compare‘ throughout the coming weeks, rehearse it’s definition and ask for examples.
6 Apply Knowledge
Set research questions for the class using the terms they have learned. For example: Compare these pictures (provide a picture of a baby and a small child). Provide a table to record the findings with ‘Same’ and ‘Different’ headings.
7 Cooperative Learning
Prepare carefully structured activities for small mixed ability groups. Make the group’s success dependent on every student contributing to the activity. Provide discussion prompts and questions to encourage conversations. For example: What is the difference between …. and …. ? Compare. Teach skills such as turn taking, valuing all contributions, recording and presenting findings.
8 Build Self Efficacy in your Students
Give genuine praise for achievements by referring to the students accomplishments; this builds self belief in or his/her ability to complete a task. Give genuine praise for accomplishments, for example: “From what you have told me I can see that you really understand how to compare two things, well done”. A child’s belief in their own ability can also be enhanced by encouraging them to share what they have learnt, for example:” Jasmine I heard you explaining to Peter what compare meant. What did you say to him, can you tell us please? This also allows the other children to listen to the explanation in ‘child speak’.
For more information on these strategies please see the link below