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Fab 5 Instructional Strategies

At ONEder we are all about supporting teachers to improve their instruction as it ultimately leads to student success.  We have put together 5 instructional strategies with supporting research/resources to do just that. Check out these strategies and be sure to look out for more new resources in ONEder.


1. Metacognitive Strategies: Using metacognition in the classroom means that you get students to think about their options, choices and results, and give them the opportunity to plan, organize, and monitor their own work. The great thing about using metacognitive strategies is that students direct their own learning and then self-reflect on what they learnt throughout the process. To learn more about how metacognition can be taught, check out the “Recommended Instructional Strategies” section of this article.


2. Differentiated Instruction: This is an instructional framework/strategy for effective teaching; using this strategy, teachers provide their students with different avenues through which they can learn. Teachers can differentiate classroom elements based on student readiness, interest, or learning style. These elements include:

    • Content – What you teach and expect the students to learn.
    • Process – How you teach and expect students to learn.
    • Product – How you expect the students to demonstrate what they have learned.

For more on Differentiated Instruction, check out this video.


3. Nonlinguistic Representations: When teachers encourage their students to use nonlinguistic representation, it enhances their ability to use mental images to represent and elaborate on knowledge. Language-based learning dominates a good portion of classroom instruction, and therefore, educators need to use instructional strategies that help students create images and stimulate the brain in new ways. Doing so increases student understanding and develops their capacity to recall information. Getting students to engage in drawing, kinesthetic activity, physical modeling, and graphical organization helps them form their own mental pictures. Asking students to explain and share their images encourages metacognitive thinking. For more on nonlinguistic representations, check out this article from ASCD.


4. Productive Feedback: For feedback to be positive, teachers need to let their students know how they have performed on a particular task and be given strategies to help them improve. Positive feedback provides students with a tangible understanding of what they did well, shows them the areas they need to improve on, and supports them with ideas for how they can develop. In John Hattie’s view, any teacher that seriously wants to boost their children’s results should start by giving them dollops and dollops of feedback. For more information check out this article on how to give feedback to students.


5. Experiential Learning: Field experience, field trip, or field study, whether virtually or in person, enables students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and extend it into real-world applications.  Teachers can get creative with this; for example, when your class visits a natural or historical site, you could explore current trades and industries on-site, or work alongside an expert in a field of study. The experience is maximized for students when the purpose is clear, including how they will report on their observations, questions, and conclusions. Click here to learn more about Virtual Field Trips & Experiences.

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