The 5 Best Teaching Practices

As a new teacher, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and strategies presented at professional development sessions. The desire to implement everything you’ve learned can be strong, but the reality of finding the time and resources to do so can be daunting.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of trying something new, but it’s important to remember the purpose and intention behind our actions in the classroom. Ultimately, the reason we do what we do as educators is to support our students’ learning and growth.

Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on strategies that align with our goals and prioritize quality over quantity. Innovation is important, but not at the expense of effectiveness. By keeping our purpose and intentionality at the forefront of our teaching practices, we can make the most of our professional development and provide the best possible education for our students.

Highly Effective Teaching Practices Research

In the realm of educational research, renowned scholar John Hattie has made significant contributions to the field of teaching and learning. Hattie’s book, Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning, aims to provide educators with insights into effective teaching practices by allowing them to view the learning process through the eyes of their students. Drawing on over 15 years of research on K-12 education, Hattie’s work has identified several highly effective classroom practices that promote student achievement. Among these practices, we highlight five key areas:

Firstly, teacher clarity is essential in helping students understand the purpose and learning goals of a given unit of study or project. Teachers should provide explicit criteria for success, offer examples and models, and encourage students to reflect on their progress.

Secondly, classroom discussion is a powerful tool for enabling students to learn from one another and for teachers to assess their understanding of new concepts.

Thirdly, feedback is crucial for facilitating student progress. Teachers should provide both individual and collective feedback, and students should be encouraged to offer feedback to their teachers.

Fourthly, formative assessments are essential for tracking student progress towards learning goals. Hattie recommends that teachers devote as much time to formative assessments as they do to summative assessments.

Lastly, metacognitive strategies, such as planning, monitoring, and self-reflection, are effective for promoting student ownership of their learning and can be taught explicitly in the classroom.

By prioritizing these highly effective teaching practices, educators can maximize their impact on student learning outcomes.

How do you already bring these five classroom practices alive in your classroom?

Incorporating the five classroom practices identified by John Hattie into our teaching can significantly enhance our students’ learning experiences. As a teacher, it’s important to reflect on how we are already implementing these practices in our classrooms and identify areas where we can improve.

Teacher clarity can be achieved by setting clear expectations and providing students with a roadmap of what they are expected to learn. In my classroom, I make sure to provide students with clear learning goals and success criteria at the start of each lesson.

Active classroom discussion is an excellent way to engage students in the learning process and promote peer-to-peer learning. I encourage my students to participate in whole-class discussions and small group activities that allow them to share their ideas and learn from each other.

Providing timely and relevant feedback is essential for students to understand their progress and make necessary adjustments. In my classroom, I always provide students with individual feedback on their assignments and assessments and also offer whole-group feedback to highlight areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Formative assessments allow me to track student progress and adjust my teaching strategies accordingly. I frequently use formative assessments such as exit tickets, quizzes, and class discussions to monitor student understanding.

Finally, promoting metacognitive strategies such as planning, monitoring, and self-reflection can help students take ownership of their learning. In my classroom, I encourage students to reflect on their learning and set personal goals for themselves.

Overall, by incorporating these five classroom practices, we can create a more engaging and effective learning environment for our students. As educators, we must continue to prioritize these practices and adapt our teaching strategies to best meet the needs of our students.