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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for over 23 years. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented 3rd-6th Grades, Dr. Shipley was an elementary principal, a cheer coach, and was on...
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Simple Strategies: What Can I do to Help My Students?

I think that all teachers have amazing and engaging teaching strategies that we use with the students in our classroom. It’s almost like we are born with creativity and ways to help children and reach families. Creativity is a large part of developing engaging teaching strategies. Having the background of how children grow and develop and what their background knowledge is, is also important to know and understand before you start introducing and teaching young children. This article will give you several teaching strategies that are important to use in an early childhood classroom.

1. Modeling: Everything you say or do and how you react to situations or handle students is being watched by the children in your classroom. They will go home and say what you say, and they think your way is the only way to do something, and they will tell their parent you are right. So, don’t forget, as you are going about your daily schedule, that you need to model the correct behaviors, transitions, and actions that you expect out of your students. This can be as simple as role-playing situations, correctly sitting at your desk, speaking to other adults, using correct vocabulary, speaking in complete sentences, entering the classroom, and greeting each person, etc.

2. Scaffolding: As you guide your students in their learning of new and important information and material, ask questions, and show them how to do it until they get the hang of it.

3. Acknowledge, Encourage, Listen, and Ask Questions: When students talk, ask questions and look them in the eye, acknowledge their conversation, and participate with them. Encourage your students in every aspect of the classroom (curriculum, play, achievements, and even mistakes---children are in your care to learn). There are always ways to encourage your students and help them feel better about themselves. Listen to what your students have to say. They have great thoughts and ideas---you may just learn something from them. Ask your students questions, and get them to logically and critically think about different situations and projects. Students will see that you care if you acknowledge them, encourage them, listen to them, and ask them questions.

4. Show/Demonstrate: give your students examples; show them how to correctly do something or the correct procedures of doing something. Remember, students are in our care to learn; let’s teach them and not just assume or expect them to know something or how to do something.

5. Repertoire of Ideas: This means using hands-on, engaging, differentiated, and developmentally appropriate practices. Centers, large groups, small groups, one-on-one instruction, procedures, rules, expectations, and effective transitions are just a few. 

When you break the repertoire of ideas down, then you can identify, define and differentiate for each student. If something isn’t working, change it up, or do it differently. This means you can make a change the next year or even the very next day. Just like no two students are alike, no two classrooms or class rosters are alike. Many of these things take time and organization, and the title of this article is “What Can I Do To Help My Students” being prepared to teach your students each day is a number one priority. I challenge you to take one of these ideas and use it today.

~ Tisha