NHS Strategy List from the State Department of EducationThis list was provided to teachers for use when planning strategic instruction.

Please visit this website for more instructional strategies to use!

Need a brain break?If you want to apply brain breaks in your classroom this year, this link has many examples for you to try! Check them out and see how learning and engagement improve! http://curriculum.austinisd.org/pe_health/resources/BrainBreaks/

Effective Teaching Through Instructional StrategiesTeachers can use instructional strategies to increase student engagement and motivation in the classroom. Strategies are vehicles students use to arrive at mastery, not the end product. This handout explains strategies, as well as gives information on some of Marzano's most effective instructional strategies.

Reflection StrategiesHaving students reflect on their learning is one of the most powerful tools to increasing engagement and achievement. Reflecting on work enhances its meaning. Reflecting on experiences encourages insight and complex learning. When we control our learning, we are able to foster our own growth.

The 3-2-1 reflection strategy is beneficial as a closure activity to a lesson, an exit slip, or bellwork to have students think back to the previous class. This exit slip can come in handy to have students tell you exactly what they have learned, what they are still grappling with, and how engaged they were with your lesson. Thanks for Mr. Lee for typing up the reflection strategy instructions and creating an exit slip for teachers to use!

Cooperative Learning Strategies
Socratic Seminar is a great way to guide student discussions about any topic or piece of literature. The documents below will help your students with background information on the teaching technique, expectations, assessment, and designing questions.

The Carousel K-W-L

Make the traditional KWL chart more interactive

1. Create a chart for each major topic your class will cover during a particular unit.

2. Divide the class into the same number of groups as charts and give each group a different colored marker.

3. Each group reports to a chart and selects a recorder.

4. The recorder's job is to list on the chart the things the group members think they know about the topic.

5. Have each group rotate to another chart. Groups will review what other students already wrote, placing a checkmark next to the things they also know and adding new things to the list. (Students should ignore things they think are wrong at this point.)

Groups will rotate around until they are back at the original chart.

6. Each group will generate a summary for the information on the chart and present it to the class. After each group presents, students will think of questions to ask about the information and list them on additional charts.

Source: Differentiating Instruction in a Whole-Group Setting by Betty Hollas

Engagement Strategies
This chart is the original KWL, but upgraded. Students can identify their own misconceptions and then correct them. Definitely a plus for any content area!

A think-pair-share is a quick verbal interaction between students that allows them to quickly verify their academic language and the content being learned. This is not just for background knowledge, but also for during and post-reading. Think-pair-share is a great strategy to provide a brain break and a few seconds to think through your content.

Brain warmers serve as hooks, attention-getters, motivators, and background knowledge builders. Lower-level readers need preparation before they read, and these activities will get students ready to dive into a text.

This article gives great information on using post-it notes to assess engagement or as a formative assessment.

The gallery walk is a great strategy to get students up and out of their seats to engage with artwork, primary documents, mentor texts, writing samples, or other students' work. See the video below of a gallery walk in action.

The Top Ten List is a great strategy to preview upcoming material by tapping into prior knowledge, and also a great activity to review a previous lesson or concept. In the clip below, students have read about the Harlem Renaissance as part of their novel study. To cement the knowledge, students are participating in a collaborative top ten list.

Final Countdown is a strategy to bring closure to a class and provide opportunities for sharing and recognition.
1. Tell students, "I need to hear four things before we say goodby for today. I need to hear...

  • a statement of appreciation for someone here
  • something or someone you are thankful for
  • something good about your day, and
  • a clean, funny joke."

2. Choose volunteers until the "Final Countdown" is completed. Make sure the same people are not chosen each time.
Source: Engaging All by Creating High School Learning Communities

Power Strategies
These strategies are designed to be used at various points in your lesson to increase student engagement and achievement in your content area. These strategies were presented by the Leadership and Learning Center.
The taxonomy is an easy to implement strategy designed to frontload or review information in a lesson.
To frontload, give students the topic of your lesson and instruct them to write down everything they know.
To review, have students write down everything they have learned over the course of your unit/lesson.
Take it one step further and have students compare where they were at the beginning of the unit and where they are at the end.

Give One, Get One is a good way to have students generate their own answers and share answers with their peers. By sharing answers one on one, students are able to receive feedback from peers and positive reinforcement, thereby giving them the confidence to share their learning with the whole group.

Double Bubble Graphic Organizer is a graphic organizer that takes the Venn Diagram one step further.

Keyword Notes is a way to help students with informational text. Divide the reading into four sections. Students jot down main ideas, key vocabulary, or other words into the corresponding box. Afterwards, students will use the words in the boxes to summarize the text.