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Methods & Strategies

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Teaching Methods & Practices
This section of the Early Childhood Community provides access to information on teaching methods and educational theories. We have also included other educational practices that aren't broad enough to be considered methods, yet have merit in early childhood classrooms. Specific subject areas include:

General Resources
Project Approach
Reggio Emilia

Education Methods & Programs
This section of the Parents Community provides on overviews of a wide variety of teaching methods and educational programs currently in practice. Specific subject areas include:

Arts Education
Ability Grouping
Bilingual Education
Brain Based Education
Character Education
Community Service Learning
Multiple Intelligences
Waldorf Education


The Pains and Pleasures of the Floating Teacher
Remember that old saying If life hands you lemons? Floating teachers --teachers who work from carts, not classrooms-- make their own brand of lemonade! Today, five floaters talk about the pains and the perks of teaching from a cart. They prove that you cant sink a good floater! Included: A link to a comprehensive, reproducible guide to la cart teaching for teachers and administrators.

Pre-K-3 Educators Learn from the Reggio Emilia Approach
The stronger the start, the better the finish. Those words, Secretary of Education Richard Riley says, should be our motto for early childhood education. Last winter, Riley and 250 other U.S. educators traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy -- a community widely known for its model preschool education program. Today, Education World explores the Reggio Emilia approach, in which teachers spend a great deal of time listening to children and documenting their thoughts.

Encourage Student Writing -- Publish on the Web!
Publishing student writing encourages the reluctant writer, strengthens kids' self-confidence, rewards interest, and promotes a positive attitude toward literature. If your school is like most, however, you lack an easy and effective way of publishing your students' work. Now, help is as close as a mouse click away! Today, Education World writer Glori Chaika explores opportunities to publish student writing --and teacher writing-- on the Web.

Special Program Brings Student Excellence to Life!
"The most important thing I learned was if you work hard and put all of your heart into something, the final product will be excellent," said Heather. "It made me see that I could be more creative than I thought I could be," added Jordan. Those are the comments of two of the students challenged by a special program that paired the imaginations of 13 fifth-graders and two artists-in-residence. To participate, students must submit portfolios containing original writing and an art form. Could such a program work in your school?

Teaching the American Revolution: Scaffolding to Success
A group of Wisconsin middle school students examine the Revolutionary War from both the American point of view and the British perspective while their teacher shares his experience with scaffolding instruction.

Reading Aloud --- Is It Worth It?
Why do teachers read aloud to their students? Are the benefits of reading aloud worth the time? Many teachers believe reading aloud enhances classroom instruction and improves academic achievement --- and recent research supports their belief. Included: Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, talks to Education World about the value of reading aloud!

Cultivating Creativity!
Kids often display incredible creativity on April Fools Day --- but those particular creative efforts are not always welcome or appropriate! This year, help your students use their imaginations and channel their creativity in productive ways, with three new books written for just that purpose. Included: One book for upper-grade students and two for young kids, plus five Web sites for inspiring creativity.

Multiple Intelligences: It's Not How Smart You Are, It's How You're Smart!
Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory asks educators to take a fresh look at our assumptions about children and learning. Teachers around the world are rethinking lessons and units -- and their entire approaches to teaching -- based on his research. This week, Education World provides resources to help you explore the wealth of information on multiple intelligence theory available on the Web!

Thirteen Strategies to Improve Reading Performance
How have some Chicago schools improved student reading performance? Leadership is essential --- leadership and 13 practical strategies to nurture concrete, measurable gains in reading! This week, Education World tells what principals and teachers do in some of Chicago's most successful schools and how they do it! Included: How to get a copy of the "Leave No Child Behind" study that documents the 13 keys to success!

In the Loop: Students and Teachers Progressing Together
Looping ---when a teacher moves with his or her students to the next grade level rather than sending them to another teacher at the end of the school year--- was initially advocated by early 20th-century Austrian educator Rudolf Steiner and since has been used successfully for years in Europe. Despite the successful experiences of European school systems, looping is still uncommon enough in the United States to be considered innovative. Included: Looping research and comments from kids ---pro and con--- about looping.

One Character Education Program That Works!
Many schools, lacking the time and resources required to develop their own character education curricula, are instead turning to established programs that have proven successful in other school districts. Read about one such program ---recently adopted by schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--- in which the whole community is involved.

Multiple Intelligences: A Theory for Everyone
Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences makes people think about "IQ," about being "smart." The theory is changing the way some teachers teach. Included: Gardner has now identified an eighth intelligence!

Inclusion: Has It Gone Too Far?
Inclusion of all children with disabilities in regular classrooms seems to be the law of the land. But is it the right thing for all kids? And how are teachers handling it?

Is Ability Grouping the Way to Go---Or Should It Go Away?
Logic, emotion, and research often clash in the longstanding debate over the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping (tracking). Should it be left up to the courts to decide whether such grouping is fair or not?


The Project Approach
The Project Approach is a project based educational method where students learn by collaboratively investigating themes. The site outlines the theory behind this innovative approach to learning and gives some excellent tips and ideas for creating fun and engaging projects in your classroom.

Integrating the Arts Into the Classroom
Integrating the Arts Into the Classroom offers lesson units, written for a variety of subjects at different grade levels, that incorporate the arts into the regular classroom curriculum.

Learning Strategies Database
This is a computerized version of learning strategies data compiled by personnel at Muskingum College (Ohio) over a ten-year period. This site has a ton of information.

Exploring Multiple Intelligences: New Dimensions of Learning
Exploring Multiple Intelligences is a web site about Dr. Howard Gardner's revolutionary theory of eight different forms of intelligence and/or learning modes. The site has descriptions and lesson plans for each intelligence as well as articles, links, and a list of books and audio-visual resources.

Best Practices in Education
A not-for-profit organization dedicated to working with American teachers to find effective educational practices from other countries to adapt and apply in United States schools.


Teacher Resources:

The Primary Sources Network: An Education Resource
The Primary Sources Network seeks to transform teaching and learning by utilizing primary source materials.

Problem Based Learning
The PBL curriculum consists of carefully selected and designed problems that demand from the learner acquisition of critical knowledge, problem solving proficiency, self-directed learning strategies, and team participation skills.

A Curriculum Every Student Can Use: Design Principles For Student Access
An ERIC project.

Direct Teaching
A brief description and list of resources on the subject of direct teaching/direct instruction.

Teaching Methods - Pluses and Minuses
An overview of a variety of teaching methods from the Teach2Prime site.