Save the Last Word for Me is a discussion strategy that requires all students to participate as active speakers and listeners. Its clearly de?ned structure helps shy students share their ideas and ensures that frequent speakers practice being quiet. It can be used as a way to help students debrief a video or reading passage.
Deep and rich vocabulary knowledge requires more than just memorizing a list of words. In this strategy, based on the work of Dorothy Frayer, students dive deeply into vocabulary words related to topics they are studying.
Fountas and Pinnell state “the reader constructs unique meaning through integrating background knowledge, emotions, attitudes, and expectations with the meaning the writer expresses.” In this strategy, after reading a selection, students will discuss the topic in a small group. This strategy will assist students in connecting what they have read to what they already know. By providing students the opportunity to discuss the selection with their peers, teachers help students form a deeper understanding of the text.
This strategy encourages students to become more aware of mathematics that they encounter in their daily lives. Students become engaged in listening and watching for numbers in a pre-selected video segment and then use those numbers to generate word problems for math.
Students need to develop higher-level thinking skills and appropriate ways to debate their answers. This strategy provides a structure that helps students frame their experience with a piece of media, think about the implications, take a position, and then debate a point-of-view with students in opposition.
The National Reading Council recommends that students receive explicit instruction in the application of multi-strategy methods, because they are highly effective in enhancing understanding. This strategy gets students engaged in using the meanings and colors of road signs to synthesize what they learned from a particular video. Students then explain their understanding by creating PowerPoint or Google Slide presentations from the templates provided.
Students are often more engaged in a text if they know something about the content or context. This is especially true when the text is delivered via audio, as with a speech or story. This strategy introduces students to printed quotes from a speech before they listen to the entire audio version, allowing them to build familiarity with the content first.
The Tug-of-War routine was developed by researchers at Harvard’s Project Zero and builds on the basic idea of the game Tug-of-War. In this routine, students are given a dilemma or situation with two opposing sides and asked to create a sound judgment about the issue.
When analyzing a situation, it is sometimes dif?cult to separate facts from thoughts and feelings. Reporter’s Notebook is a strategy that will teach students to use explicit evidence to separate fact from feeling. This strategy works well in the midst of an investigation or when all evidence is not yet apparent.
As I wrote about in the February 2016 issue of Kathy’s Katch, the Spotlight on Strategies Series (SOS), located on the Discovery Education site, includes a wealth of pedagogical and practical strategies for the use of the digital resources from Discovery Education in the classroom. Each weekly strategy is different– some are for introducing a topic, others target