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23 Ways to Facilitate Student-Centered Instruction

1. SUPPORTS METACOGNITION

Learner-centered instruction helps students think about their teaching during learning
events.

2. WHAT DO THEY LIKE?

Interests and affinities are assessed through inventories and pre-testing

3. STUDENTS MAKE DECISIONS

Kids have a say in what, when, and how they learn.

4. PROVIDE STRUCTURE WHEN NEEDED

Some students need more support and direction.

5. GAMIFY IT

Activate the mechanics that foster super-engagement.

6. TEACHERS LISTEN & OFFER CHOICES

Students feelings and affinities are cultivated and incorporated into a choice-based
curriculum.

7. SHIFT AWAY FROM WHOLE CLASS DISCUSSION

“Emphasize small and independent inquiry groups.” (Source: TEAL Center)

8. SHIFT FOCUS

Shift from focusing on what much be taught to what must be learned. (Source:
Barbara L. McCombs & Jo Sue Whisler)

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9. ASK THE BIG QUESTION

How can you make students forget the clock?

10. KEEP IT REAL

Use authentic activities and primary sources.

11. CHANGE ROLES

Let kids teach themselves, other kids, & you.

12. ACTIVITIES PROMOTE EVERY STUDENT THINKING

Reflective writing, think-pair-share, debates…

13. PBL

Students inquire and solve authentic problems.

14. GAIN ATTENTION WITH “HAVE YOU EVER?”

Ask kidsto raise green paper if they have done the thing you are asking, or red paper,
if they haven’t. “Have you ever ...?” Qs can be connected to the subject you are
teaching. (Source: Tarja Mykrä)

15. DIVERSITY-SENSITIVE CURRICULUM

Diversity of the student population is considered when selecting relevant texts and
experiences.

16. TEACHERS SEEK OTHERS’ WISDOM

Instructional coaches, PLCs, admin., fellow-teachers, students, are consulted: “How


can I make this lesson better?”

17. USE 21st CENTURY TOOLS

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Students learn to read and create digital texts. Social media is leveraged.

18. LEARNER-CENTERED TEACHERS DON’T…

Emphasize coverage, which leads to memorization.

19. DON'T PRIORITIZE GRADES OVER LEARNING

Neglect to explain the course learning goals.

20. LEVERAGE TECH

Ignore student concerns. (Source: Maryellen Weimer via Gloria Wright)

21. DIG INTO THE CONTENT

“Use methods, processes, and vocabularies intrinsic to specific content areas.”


(Source: Francisca Sanchez)

22. VARY APPROACHES

 - Case method instruction

 - Team-based learning

 - PBL

 - Observation

 - Dialogue and reflection (Source: Diane Harkins)


23. SOLICITS STUDENT FEEDBACK

Teachers ask, “How can we make the learning experience more helpful?
Engaging?”

"Active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about
what they are doing.” – Michael Prince.

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Check out these active learning strategies:

FEEL IT – Find a way to feel intensely curious about the material so that it sticks in
long term memory.

REFLECT IN WRITING – Use “quick writes” and “writing to learn strategies.”


Writing is a thinking tool.

RELATE IT – Relate the information to something you have experienced.

GENERATE QUESTIONS - Direct learners to develop questions about the topic and
pose them to peers.

CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT – Allow yourself to do “deep work” by


minimizing distractions.

TEACH IT – Being able to fully explain the idea to a peer means that you have
internalized the topic.

COMPARE YOUR NOTES - Share your notes with a peer, discuss the differences,
and make additions or revisions.

DOODLE – Sketch out how the concept relates to your life.

SELF ASSESS – Ask yourself how well you understand the concept? What areas still
need more work?

SOLVE IT – Brainstorm solutions to a problem collaboratively or individually.

SUMMARIZE – Students can restate salient points in everyday vernacular.