Saturday, September 1, 2012

SIOP Saturday 5: Strategies

What a whirlwind week!  We started our curriculum, and switching for math, and my ESL block this week, so things have been rather hectic, and I haven't had time to post!  And now already it's Saturday again, so we're back to SIOP!

Today is highlighting the fourth component of the SIOP model: strategies!

Here's where we stand within the framework:

Lesson Preparation
Building Background
Comprehensible Input
Lesson Delivery

This section about strategies provides resources for teachers as far as what they can do to help students connect to knowledge, problem-solve, and retain new information. This component contains the next three features:

13. Ample opportunities provided for students to use learning strategies
Many researchers have found that students are more successful when teachers explicitly and carefully teach self-regulating strategies to students.  There are three different types of learning strategies:

Metacognitive: strategies used for monitoring thinking (including predicting, self-questioning, monitoring, evaluating, summarizing, visualizing, inferring, and clarifying)
Cognitive: strategies that help students organize information (including rereading, highlighting, reading aloud, taking notes, mapping information, self-talk, finding key vocabulary, and using mneumonics)
Social/Affective: strategies that facilitate learning through interaction (including questioning for clarification, cooperative learning to solve problems, talking to someone, and group discussions)

These strategies should all be taught through explicit instruction and modeling, as well as teaching students HOW and WHEN to use each strategy.

14. Scaffolding techniques consistently used, assisting and supporting student understanding
Scaffolding is a term widely associated with Vygotsky's ZPD (zone of proximal development - when the student is in that "just-right" stage of learning and can accomplish a task alone, but it's not too easy for the student).  Teachers can help by providing three types of scaffolding for their students:

Verbal scaffolding: using prompting, questioning, and elaboration to facilitate students in reaching higher levels of thinking and language proficiency (including paraphrasing, using "think-alouds", and slowing speech and phrasing)

Procedural scaffolding: using explicit teaching and modeling, and giving opportunities for students to interact with each other and with the teacher to practice

Instructional scaffolding: preparing students in advance for the material they will learn (including using graphic organizers or any other instructional tools)

15. A variety of questions or tasks that promote higher-order thinking skills
Because it is difficult for teachers to think of these higher-order thinking questions off the cuff, teachers should prepare them prior to teaching the lesson.  Teachers can help students become strategic at recognizing the levels of questions, and what they would have to do to find the answer (this is basically QAR, Question-Answer Relationships, and recognizing if questions can be answered by looking in one place in a text ("right-there"), or that require more thought and searching through the text ("think and search").

*SQP2RS ("Squeepers"): teaching students to Survey, Question, Predict, Read, Respond, and Summarize when interacting with expository texts.
*GIST (Generating Interactions between Schemata and Texts): after reading a text, students underline ten or more words or concepts that are deemed "most important" to understanding the text.  Write a summary sentence or two using as many words/concepts from the list as possible.  After finishing, students can write a topic sentence, and the end result can be used as a summary paragraph.
*DRTA (Directed Reading-Thinking Activity): a strategy that can be used when reading fiction texts.  Preview the story, make predictions, and stop periodically through the text to confirm predictions, make new ones, and think about/question what is happening in the story.

What other strategies do you use to help promote student learning in your classroom?

Next Saturday's topic: Interaction


  1. Are you a teacher who wants to help other teachers? Here is your chance. These are honestly some of the best I personally know!


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