32 Chapters
Medium 9781942496533

Chapter 1 Delivering Differentiated Remedial Instruction

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

In an ideal world, every student would (and should) be able to succeed, even if it is at different rates and with different strengths. To differentiate instruction is to recognize an individual student’s learning history, background, readiness to learn, interests, and acquired skill set, and then choose instructional strategies more tailored to that student, or a small group, to speed academic success. Converting the school mission statement from “We believe that all children can learn” to “We expect all children to learn” would be a major step in this direction.

With this perspective in mind, consider the following quote:

Every child can learn. That so many students fail to attain necessary skills reflects not the incapacity of the students but the incapacity of schools to meet the needs of every child. Given a skilled one-to-one tutor, for example, every student without severe dyslexia or retardation could attain an adequate level of basic skills. Practically speaking, of course, it is unlikely that we will soon be providing a skilled tutor for every child who is falling behind in reading or math. Nevertheless, we can develop feasible programs to ensure that every child learns. The first step is to consider what we know about practices that can accelerate the achievement of students in danger of school failure. (Slavin & Madden, 1989, p. 4)

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Chapter 8 Inquiry-Based Learning

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 8

Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning as an instructional method is a student-centered, active learning approach focused on questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving. There are many definitions of inquiry-based learning. The National Research Council (NRC, 2000) defines inquiry as a

multifaceted activity that involves making observations; posing questions; examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating the results. Inquiry requires identification of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations. (p. 23)

Similarly, Hattie (2009) describes inquiry as an instructional approach in which the teacher develops challenging situations for students to:

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Chapter 3 Concept Mapping

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 3

Concept Mapping

For both young and old learners, the adage that a picture paints a thousand words holds true. A picture—a graph, chart, map, or other pictorial representation—does more readily convey meaning than words can. As suggested by figure 3.1 (page 24), complex concepts—and connections among concepts—are easier to understand when one can see the ideas and their relationships to one another. While this concept map may not be simple, imagine what it would be like to explain the concepts and connections presented here in words alone. Concept maps simplify complex and nuanced concepts.

According to Hattie (2009),

Concept mapping involves the development of graphical representations of the conceptual structure of the content to be learnt…. Concept mapping can assist in synthesizing and identifying the major ideas, themes, and interrelationships—particularly for the learners who do not have these organizing and synthesizing skills. (p. 168)

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Chapter 10 Planning for Cross-Disciplinary Instruction

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

Cross-disciplinary instruction is a valuable addition to any teacher’s instructional repertoire. The practice of making connections across subject areas is an effective way to engage students in challenging, integrative, and exploratory learning around personal and social concerns that appeal to them. The integration of disciplines can prompt students to learn to think critically and develop a common core of knowledge necessary for success in the 21st century. Given the value and validity of this instructional strategy, a basic question remains: How do teachers plan for quality cross-disciplinary learning experiences?

Knowing how much additional work is required to design and implement cross-disciplinary instruction, is it worth the effort? In answer, numerous compelling reasons should prompt teachers to consider adding cross-disciplinary instruction to their teaching strategies (Alrøe & Noe, 2014; Case, 1991; Jacobs, 1989).

•The problems and situations that students encounter in real-world settings do not completely organize themselves according to fragmented disciplines or traditional school subjects. Many phenomena in real life cannot be adequately understood solely from one disciplinary perspective. Cross-disciplinary instruction provides real-world applications, hence encouraging transfer of learning.

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Chapter 7 Memorization and Mnemonic Instruction

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 7

Memorization and Mnemonic Instruction

People think of human memory as a continuously active system that receives, encodes, modifies, stores, and retrieves information. Although memory, perceptions, learning, and problem solving are distinct functions of our brains, they overlap and are closely related. When we analyze in detail what occurs in the mental processes of perception, learning, thinking, and remembering, it becomes clear that many cognitive functions are common to these operations.

By memorization, we do not mean rote procedures that involve going over new information until it is implanted in the memory. Rote memory means fixing information in the brain through sheer repetition. In this method, we intend memorization to include an elaborate teaching and learning strategy that helps learners master content more quickly and retain it longer. Memorization and recitation of poetry, for instance, are an important part of the reading process: they exercise the student’s memory, help the student mentally store beautiful language, and give the student practice in speaking aloud (Bauer & Wise, 2009). Within the context of this broader definition of memorization, we focus on mnemonic instruction as a tool for increasing long-term memory recall and use of knowledge.

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