Effective Teaching And Positive Classroom Learning Environment Education Essay

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The purpose of Instructional design is to integrate resources to facilitate students' acquisition of the learning goals as well as help teachers use what is available to help students achieve the desired learning outcome (Walter Dick, 2010). Nevertheless, instructional design should be grounded on theories of learning and instruction (Morrison, Ross & Kemp, 2007).

The following are several major teaching strategies and learning, instruction theories I have applied in my individual instructional plan. Also I will elaborate on the reasons for applying them in the following part.

First, greet students before class.

In my point of view, this is an effective way to build positive relationship between students and teacher .According to Boynton (2012), developing positive teacher-student relations are one of the most effective method teachers can take to establish a positive discipline climate in the classroom. It's not difficult for us to recognize that students who are treated with respect as well as love and care tend to behave well and have better academic performance. It is because we all want to be valued and respected and students without doubt also have these feelings, as a result, in order to get more attention and appreciation from the teacher, they will try to please teachers by behaving more appropriately to fit the teacher's expectations. In this sense, we have to realize that rules alone cannot improve the behavior problems of students, whereas good teacher-students relationship can not only encourage students to behave well, but also benefit learning outcomes of students and help to achieve effective teaching.

Second, improve the physical learning environment by arranging the desks in the "U "shape.

With this arrangement, the teacher can see every student, and every student can see the board .This set-up puts the focus on the center of the room where the teacher will be teaching. Also, this set-up allows for ease of putting them into groups or partners. Besides, this arrangement maximizes the classroom's physical space and allows the teacher moving around the room a lot while teaching and keeping students' attention. Despite facilitating easy teacher movement and proximity, it also improves student movement and communication. In short, the arrangement of the desks facilitates the teaching strategies employed and allows sufficient interaction between teacher and pupils, as well as among the pupils themselves

Third, the lesson is presented in a way that's relevant to the students.

In this instructional plan, the topic is about family and it is also further planned for students to show their own family photos, which are all closely related with the students.

In this way, it gives the students a reason for learning, for they are relevant to their lives. Besides, it will stimulate the students' interests and help to create a fun and productive learning environment. According to a neurologist and former classroom teacher Judy Willis,

"Long lists of vocabulary words that don't have personal relevance or don't resonate with a topic about which the student has been engaged are likely to be blocked by the brain's affective (or emotional) filters," That is to say, students need a personal connection to the material, whether that's through engaging them emotionally or connecting the new information with previously acquired knowledge. In addition, making the information personally relevant can also improve the self-referent encoding of knowledge. Without this relevance, students may not only disengage and quickly forget, but they may also lose the motivation to try. (Bernard, 2010)

Forth, use question strategies to facilitate students ' learning.

According to Cotton (2006), questioning is second only to lecturing in popularity as a teaching method.

So in this instructional plan, I use questions in order to:

*quickly check for understanding by asking yes /no or true /false question and have students quickly stand up to show the answer they agree with.

* gain attention, keep all students on task and reduce the likelihood of management problems

*have students repeat directional procedures

*elaborate on their answers /work

* stimulate higher level thinking

Apart from the aforementioned reasons, I also want to use questions to motivate students to learn. Because questions can offer a variety of opportunities to let students experience success, build up confidence, meet their intellectual and psychological needs and help to further develop their knowledge, skills and cognitive competence.

Fifth, take advantage of cooperative learning of constructivist in teaching.

I have applied two major methods of cooperative learning in this instructional design

*Student Teams-Achievement Division

*Jigsaw grouping

By using the STAD, students will not only get enough time to rehearse new information, but also help each other to learn better through peer assistance in the small group .

And in Jigsaw grouping, students are assigned to different roles in the group and only through sharing could they finish the task.

Thus, the purpose of applying cooperative learning methods is not just for improving learning, but to cultivate a cooperative spirit, improve students' presentation , social , communication skills and learn to be responsible as well.

Sixth, provide various activities.

In this instructional plan, I try to give students hands-on activities in order to achieve the following aims:

* practice and rehearse what they have learned and give feedback to the teaching about their learning

* get them away from passive learning through exploring and researching by themselves.

*repeating information to keep it in STM, because information is lost rapidly without further processing.

*give alternative opportunities for them to experience success and meet their psychological needs

*create easy and interesting learning environment and have students actively and continuously engaged.

Furthermore, it can't be denied that classrooms with motivated students, enthusiastic teachers, and stimulating, meaningful activities have fewer discipline problems, which is also crucial in helping to achieve effective learning.

Seventh, use videos to supplement lessons.

In recent years, the use of multimedia plays a more and more important role in teaching and learning because of the many advantages it has brought about.

M. Hogreeve (1995) suggests several advantages with the use of multimedia for language learning, it includes

- a high level of stimulation of the senses

- a high level of involvement, attention, concentration

-emotional arousal

- strong recognition effects

So in the enrichment and remediation part of my instructional plan, I use a video of a family song in order to:

*help to review and consolidate the knowledge learned

*cater to different learning styles (visual, listening, touch)

*vary material and mode of delivery to avoid satiation

*get attention and improve memory by encoding information on the basis of dual code theory

*motivate their interests in learning

Eighth, apply scaffolding strategies in the teaching process.

Scaffolding is the temporary assistance given by a teacher to help a learner learn how to do something, so that the learner will later be able to complete a similar task alone.

As a result, I have added a scaffolding activity by modeling the family introduction first and then let the students do their own family introductions according to the words, sentences and ways the teacher has presented in her demonstration.

Moreover, as can be seen in the first two parts of my instruction plan, I have used many questions to elicit new information of the lesson, which is another method of scaffolding through questioning techniques.

Last but not least, provide positive and timely feedback to facilitate learning.

Research on teaching effectiveness indicates that students need specific feedback to understand what is expected of them, correct errors, and get help in improving their performance (Sadker, D., Sadker, M. & Zittleman, K.R., 2011). Therefore, I provide feedback to students and their performance throughout the instructional plan. There are many types of feedback, among which three types of feedback have been applied in this instruction plan.

*nonverbal feedback

*verbal feedback

*motivational feedback (Barry, 2008)

In the activity part , I ask the rest of the students to clap their hands to "celebrate "the student's correct answering , which is a nonverbal feedback and acts as an encouragement and helps to build up the confidence of the students.

I also use verbal feedback to try to provide the students with suggestion, clear direction for building on strengths or correcting errors when their answers are not on the right track.

Motivational feedback is applied most frequently in this instruction plan, like "awesome", "yes", "excellent", etc. They act as positive feedbacks that provide incentive for students to repeat actions that lead to good results.

Hence, most of the time, feedback can be seen as a reinforcement, and plays a key part in reinforcing the good learning habits of students.

In conclusion, the aforementioned strategies and theories are aimed at achieving effective teaching and learning, and at the same time, putting emphasis on the growth of students to enhance their social skills by being competent and responsible, developing in particular their self-motivation, self management and confidence in the process of learning.

(Word counts: 1540)

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