|Modeling: The Heart of Instruction|
The State Department of Education’s Common Core of Teaching calls for teacher competence to, “employ a variety of instructional strategies that enable students to think critically, solve problems and demonstrate skills…”
The heart of strategic instruction is the Model Stage. Through this stage, the teacher uses instructional techniques that help students understand how to think and act before, during, and after task completion. The teacher models effectively through the combined use of these explicit behaviors:
Set expectations for the lesson.
Tell the students that you plan to show them everything you are thinking and doing as you complete a task and that you will expect them to use the same approaches once they are asked to complete a similar task.
Use “I” statements.
Rather than saying “you should…” or “you will…” it is important that students hear how the teacher talks aloud in first person while modeling the task.
Talk through the process.
Students need to hear everything that the teacher is thinking and doing in order to understand the planning, problem-solving, and assessing that occurs as strategic learners approach a task.
Involve the student gradually.
Once the teacher has completed a model, students benefit by scaffolded instruction through which they gradually increase their participation in task completion as a partner with the teacher.
Complete a guided practice.
After the teacher models and students begin to share in the process, students need to complete a similar task independently. The teacher observes and provides feedback to ensure that students are planning, executing, and evaluating their own performance effectively.
The Model Lesson is a vital component of all strategic instruction. Research shows that students achieve at the highest levels when the model process is incorporated on a regular basis.
SIP has been an initiative at SERC since 1988. The goal of SIP is to assist educators in the development of a strategic learning environment to meet the needs of all students, especially those students with learning disabilities, mild behavioral problems, and students who are at risk of school failure. Educators receive training in learning strategies and routines for planning, instructing, and assessing in a "strategic" manner so that students can be taught "how to learn" and "how to effectively use" what they have learned in the general education classroom. SIP provides training and technical assistance regarding the implementation of these strategies.