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5 Best Practices for Improving Classroom Instruction

Teachers are tasked with teaching a variety of students, each with their own personality, in a classroom setting. Because of differences among students’ academic skills, behavioral patterns, and the way they learn, teachers can get discouraged when attempting to instruct a dynamic class. However, finding ways to improve classroom instruction will help students effectively learn and will help teachers improve their instructional skills. This growth proves beneficial for both teacher and pupil.

Listed below are five practices that will help teachers improve their classroom instruction.

1. Apply a Combination of Visual and Hands-on Learning
Not all students learn in the same way. Some students excel when they learn through reading and study; other students learn best when they are presented with visual aids, presentations, and videos. Still, other students learn best when involved in hands-on learning such as experiments, activities, and exploration.

As a teacher, it can be challenging to accommodate the needs of each student. However, as teachers plan lessons to combine learning strategies, they will see an increase in student participation and academic scores. As their methods include more students, more pupils will be interested and participate in the lesson the teacher has prepared. Plan lessons that incorporate reading, use of media and videos, hands-on activities, and interactive presentations. The use of multiple styles will resonate with more students and have a greater impact on the entire class.

2. Group Work

While individual study offers a practical opportunity for students to learn on their own, group work is valuable in a classroom. Students will learn from one another and become excited to learn as they contribute to projects and assignments with their peers. Please encourage students to study individually at home or in their free time, but provide opportunities for them to participate and learn from their fellow students. Ideas for group work include reading together, working on assignments in pairs, or creating a presentation or project with a group of students.

3. Classroom Discussions

Teachers should be responsible for leading classroom discussions. Classroom discussions allow each student to contribute an opinion, idea, or observation that will benefit the class. Classroom discussions do not have to be time-consuming; lengthy discussions will lose the interest of the students, and they will become distracted. However, be sure that every pupil is allowed to contribute to the discussion and allow the students to speak. This is an easy way to encourage student participation and reach out to less-involved students.

4. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions

Teachers may find it helpful to ask their students thought-provoking questions. Well-worded questions from teachers can inspire students to find solutions to problems, answers to inquiries, and can strengthen their learning abilities. Questions from teachers will encourage students to think deeply and will help them gain greater meaning from the lesson.

Teachers should consider asking their students these quick questions:
  • Why is this important to understand?
  • How will this help me in life?
  • Why am I learning this?
  • What does this mean?
  • Who benefits from this information?
  • What does this mean to me?
5. Create a Behavior Management Plan

Behavior management plans are proven to be helpful when instructing a classroom of students. Create a reward or point system that tracks or applauds students’ good behavior. A discipline system based on encouraging good behavior is a positive way to enforce student participation and excitement for school.

Overall, teachers must use a variety of teaching styles, group activities, discussions, and questions to create an organized learning atmosphere. Teachers should also consider a positively-focused disciplinary plan that focuses on encouraging good behavior. Doing so will help students be excited about learning, improve the teacher’s abilities, and create an academic environment that accommodates all students.

  1. Becherer, Vicky H. reliasmedia.com, “Techniques to improve classroom instruction,” https://www.reliasmedia.com/articles/85766-techniques-to-improve-classroom-instruction. April 1, 2005.
  2. Jacobs, Walter R. Stanford University, “Seven Tips for Improving Instructional Skills: Reminders for Teachers,” https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1069. March 8, 2003.
  3. Heather, quizalize.com. “7 Effective Teaching Strategies for the Classroom,” https://www.quizalize.com/blog/2018/02/23/teaching-strategies/. February 23, 2018.