Effective Teaching Strategies for K-12 Students

A classroom full of elementary students raising their hands

Effective K-12 teachers should be able to easily adapt to changes in circumstances. An instructional strategy that works well for one student won’t necessarily work well for another, even within the same grade level. Whether you plan to teach kindergarteners or high school seniors, you’ll need plenty of pedagogical tricks up your sleeve to allow you to be an effective educator for each class.

Clarify the Objectives

Your students shouldn’t have to guess the main objective for a lesson. Put this information on the board and verbally state it before beginning the lesson. Some teachers like to have students copy the objective statement in their notes. This can be an effective way to help students stay on task.

Avoid Burying the Lede

Journalists have a saying: “Don’t bury the lede.” The lede is an introduction intended to capture the reader’s attention. You can apply the same principle in your lessons, especially if you have older students who are difficult to engage. For instance, if you have a Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education, put your knowledge to work and start a lesson on WWII by offering a fun fact like, “Before he became Britain’s prime minister, Winston Churchill once hid in a mineshaft for 3 days to escape a prisoner of war camp during the Boer War.” Then, go on to discuss his leadership during the Blitz.

Try Differentiated Education

K-12 teachers share a common conundrum: They want to provide personalized education, but large class sizes can prohibit it. One solution is differentiated education. It involves giving the students learning choices, allowing each to select a path that suits their learning styles and talents. For instance, if a lesson plan is on propaganda in Mao’s China, students may choose from options like drawing a propaganda poster, creating an educational slideshow, writing an essay or delivering a brief lecture to the class.

During your time at Grand Canyon University, you’ll learn all about the many effective teaching strategies that can truly make a difference in your students’ lives. View our Teaching and School Administration programs to learn about our elementary and secondary education degree programs.

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