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National Center for Agricultural Literacy

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Teaching, Skill Building, and Assessment Strategies

Strategies
Description or Engagement
Synonyms & Keyword Search Terms
1-2-3 quick
pairs of students determine the three most important items from an assigned reading and compare the information with another pair of students who read the same passage; a new list of three important items are determined by the four students
1-2-3 quick
alphabetizing
arrange words or phrases in alphabetical order
alphabetizing, alphabetize
argumentation
structured argumentation provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate the differences between a claim, evidence, and the use of reasoning for critical analysis and in some cases decision making; useful in science and social studies, particularly with the crossover between the disciplines in socioscience
argumentation, socioscience, debate
brochure
two or three-fold informative paper document created by students to display information or advertise an event
brochure, flyer, pamphlet, leaflet, newspaper advertisement
case study
providing an opportunity for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life experiences
case study, case studies, case method
cause and effect
identification and explanation the interaction between two events or ideas whereas the action of one results in the other
cause and effect
character sociograms
five or more circles with names of historical characters, countries, or events in each with labeled arrows to depict relationship between each circle
character sociograms
close reading
silent reading of a text to focus on significant details to create a deep understanding of the text's meaning
close reading
comparison/contrast with timeline
examination of two views from an assigned event to include a Venn diagram noting each point outside of the circles
comparison/contrast with timeline
concept mapping
a graphic organizer that includes concepts and the relationships among the concepts usually enclosed in boxes or circles; learn more about concept maps.
concept mapping, concept map, concept web
conference
an opportunity to assess student thinking as student verbalizes their knowledge
conference, interview
cooperative learning
instructional approaches in which students work together in small groups to accomplish common learning goal 
cooperative learning, collaborative learning
Cornell notes
a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes
note taking
counting
to name or list (the units of a group or collection) one by one in order to determine a total 
counting, tally marks
cross-the-line
Pose a controversial statement and ask students who agree with the statement to go to one side of the room and those do not to go to the other side. Place a chair on each side from which the students may speak. Only the student in the chair may speak. Sides take turns speaking and as speakers make their points, students may change sides as often as they like.
cross-the-line, philosophical chairs, critical thinking
debate
organization and discussion of a controversial issue whereas students are asked to speak either in favor or against the issue; two groups will speak affirmatively or negatively about the selected issue
debate, argumentation
demonstration
presentation performed by the student to convey their mastery of subject content
demonstration, performance
discussion
engaging students in discussion deepens their learning and motivation by propelling them to develop their own views and hear their own voices
discussion, explanation
exit ticket
assessment tool, this technique allows students to share what they understand or still have questions about at the end of a lesson, the “ticket” filled out with an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or a response to what they’ve learned (consider sticky notes that they "slap" to the wall)
assessment, exit ticket
experiment
scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact
experiment, experiments, lab, labs
fishbowl discussion
a collaborative engaging method for facilitating discussions. TeachLikeThis video
fishbowl discussion, panel discussion
formative assessment
a technique that uses questioning, without a summative assessment or grade, to inform instruction and provide the learner with timely or immediate feedback
formative assessment
four corners
identify four corners of the classroom and label them with four responses to a question, then ask students to head to the corner they think has the correct or the response that resonates with them
decision making
futures wheel
a way of organizing thinking and questioning about the future – a kind of structured brainstorming
mind map, concept map
game
physical or mental activity or contest that has rules to engage a learner with specific outcomes
game, games, gamify, gamification, app
grab bag
The class is divided into groups of two's or four's and assigned to collect a bag of artifacts/pictures (4 or 6 items). Each person in the group needs to contribute one or two items. For example, each group could be assigned a different event on a timeline and place related artifacts into a bag. Groups then swap bags and try to determine the time period or event the other group was assigned. Bags are passed from group to group until all bags have been investigated by each group. The class then discusses each group’s guesses for each bag.
grab bag
graphic organizer
visual map or diagram used to learn a concept, i.e., concept maps, and mind maps, and (20) more
graphic organizers, webs, concept maps, mind maps, debate organizer, diagrams, flow diagram, storyboards, fishbone diagrams, mind web,T charts, Y charts, cycle diagrams, Venn diagrams, KWL charts, character sociograms
graph
a diagram representing a system of connections or interrelations among two or more things by a number of dots, lines, bars, etc.
graph, graphs, chart, scatter plot, infographic, bar graph, line graph, pie graph, circle graph
group presentation collaboration
students are divided into groups, each group selects a topic, does the research, discusses, critiques, etc. and together come up with a way to present the material to other students
group presentation
hands-on activity
designing activities so that students are actively involved or engaged in the project or experiment
hands on, hands-on, hands on participation, hands-on participation, hands on learning, hands-on learning, active learning, experiential learning
image analysis
students make observations of photos, maps, infographics, and other artifacts to make inferences and evaluations concerning the artifact
image analysis
infographic
graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly, a project that may be used to demonstrate learning on a topic
infographic
jigsaw
a cooperative learning strategy to help create students own learning Students are placed in groups and assigned different pieces of information regarding a topic. Students from each group with the same assigned information join and share, discuss, and research ideas about the information and then return back to their original group. The original group will "piece together" a clear understanding about the topic based on the information gathered from each sub-topic group. Cult of Pedagogy video.
jigsaw
journaling
factual information recorded by the student that is less personal and more focused on content to reflect their learning through reflective writing
journaling, learning logs
K-W-L Chart
What I know, What I want to know, and What I learned - a type of graphic organizer used to frame instruction and assess learning (variation, KWLA "A" for how can I apply what I have learned today?
K-W-L, KWL, KWL chart, graphic organizer
lecture
speaking to students to convey information
teacher centered, lecture, direct instruction
mnemonics
association techniques used to help students remember some aspect of reading
mnemonics
group mural
on large poster paper student together create a large mural depicting an event
mural
newspaper reporter
students research and write a newspaper article about an event or issue
newspaper, writing
paraphrasing
orally retell or summarize what happened in a story 
summarizing, summarize
partner reading
a cooperative learning strategy in which two students work together to read an assigned text
reading
podcast
in teams of two or three students select a topic, conduct research, select someone to interview (if need be) and record a podcast
podcast or radio broadcast
portfolio self-assessment
individual samples of student work demonstrating what has been learned over time
portfolio self-assessment
possibilities-factors
problem solving technique using graphic organizer
problem solving, decision making
post-it-pile-it
technique for categorization and prioritization using post-it notes, see a video demonstration.
decision making
pre-reading
prior to reading the main ideas are "previewed" connecting the subject to student background knowledge
reading
phenomena-based learning
Natural phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe that we can use our science knowledge to explain or predict. A storyline is developed in phenomena-based learning. Episodes are part of the storyline and are used to sequence instruction, driven by student questions, with the goal of students explaining a phenomenon.
phenomena
projects (assigned - group or individual)
create a PowerPoint, use a video camera to create a documentary or commercial, develop a virtual reality or augmented reality program, develop an advertisement, create a game, make a collage, create a sculpture or model, draw and label a map, develop a timeline, write a newspaper article or editorial, create a display or poster
project
problem-based learning (PBL)
an instructional strategy in which students work cooperatively to investigate and resolve an ill-structured problem based on real-world issues or situations
problem-based learning, problem based learning, project-based learning, project based learning, pbl, student centered, critical thinking
project-based learning (PBL)
students challenges students to "learn to learn," working in groups to seek solutions to real world problems; students work cooperatively over time to create a product, presentation, or performance. The two essential components of project-based learning are an engaging and motivating question and a product that meaningfully addresses that question
problem-based learning, problem based learning, project-based learning, project based learning, pbl, student centered, critical thinking
quick write
used to develop writing fluency by asking students to respond in 2-10 minutes to an open-ended question or prompt before, during, or after reading
quick write
questioning
questions around instruction designed to engage or assess student understanding, may be done orally or written
questioning, multiple choice questions, open-ended questions, essential questions, higher order questions
read aloud
strategy in which a teacher sets aside time to read orally to students on a consistent basis from texts above their independent reading level but at their listening level
teacher read aloud, read aloud
readers theater
a strategy for developing reading fluency. It involves children in oral reading through reading parts in scripts
readers theater
rock-paper-scissors
a quick technique used when making group decisions that have limited criteria
decision making
role-playing
students engages in a simulation and select or create a role to share their point of view or perform their role
role-playing, skit
round-robin assessment questions
type of assessment where questions are placed in the middle of an index card and answers are written randomly on the upper right hand corner of the card making sure not to place the answer to the question on the same card. All cards are passed out and students take turns reading the question from their card while others check their card for the correct answer. If they have the correct answer their hand raises and will share with the class and takes the next turn to read their question.
round-robin assessment questions, round robin
taking a stand
pose a questions and have students that agree with the statement go to one side of the room and students that disagree go to the other side of the room, you can a midway point for the I don't know students, next ask them why they agree or disagree and support their statements with evidence, students should be allowed to move from one side
point of view
T-chart
are a type of chart, a graphic organizer in which a student lists and examines two facets of a topic, like the pros and cons associated with it, its advantages and disadvantages, facts vs. opinions, etc. Sticky notes can be used or tally marks for the facets.
graphic organizer, decision matrix
sequencing
list of numbers, objects or events placed in a special order 
sequential order
shared reading
students join in or share the reading resulting in an interactive reading experience that is guided and supported by a teacher who explicitly models the skills of proficient reading, including reading with fluency and expression
reading
simulation
the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time; simulating something first requires that a model be developed; this model represents the key characteristics or behaviors/functions of the selected physical or abstract system or process; see teaching with simulations
simulation, simulations, role play
Socratic method
a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions
questioning techniques, critical thinking
sorting
to arrange or group in a special way by amount, size, type, texture, or color
sorting
technology tools
online tools used to enhance and engage students with content
technology, web, Internet, phone, mobile device
text, talk, time
students discuss a reading passage as an entire group after reading it on their own, and use hand signals to indicate when they would like to talk
reading
think, pair, share
students work together to solve a problem or answer a question about an assigned reading or question: students (1) think individually (2) pair with a partner and (3) then share ideas with classmates
think, pair, share, think-pair-share, turn and talk
tug of war
strategy for students to think of "tugs" or reasons why they support a certain side of a dilemma and to think of reasons on the other side of the dilemma
tug of war
virtual reality
an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment
Google expedition, VR, 360 video, 360 photo, virtual tour
wordle
an online tool used to explain text content and connect to vocabulary
wordle, word cloud
word problem
a mathematical problem presented as text, usually as a narrative or story with varying number of sentences to be solved by using operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division
word problem, word problems
word search
a puzzle consisting of letters arranged in a grid containing several hidden words written in any direction
word search, word find, vocabulary
word wall
an ongoing, organized display of key words that provides visual reference for students throughout a unit of study 
words, word wall, vocabulary
writing
opportunity to engage thoughts and critical thinking in to the practice or written communication
written, writing, critical thinking, cognitive process