Powerful Instructional Strategies

instruction strategies

The educators at Cochrane Collegiate Academy were able to save their school by concentrating on instructional strategies and professional development. Their student performance has more than doubled in three years, and it is continuing to improve.

Interactive Learning (IL) is a type of instructional model that was developed by educators. It’s a collection of the ten best practices that every teacher should incorporate into every lesson they teach.

Shana Oliver, the academic facilitator at the school, is in charge of the training sessions that are being held to share these best practices. She assists teachers in visualizing and experiencing how they can incorporate all ten into a single lesson.

Reducing the Achievement Gap

How it’s done

Interactive Learning Non-Negotiables

Essential Question

What is the purpose of this lesson? Students are required to respond to one question per lesson.

Teachers must be clear about the essential questions they are asking their students, and they must ensure that the students learn at the highest possible level as a result. To be successful, students must be able to analyze and apply the questions they are given. They are unable to respond to them with a simple yes or no. It is necessary to elaborate on the answer. A good question must possess a variety of abilities to be considered.

Activating Strategy

An activating strategy encourages students to think or make connections with the material presented. To see how much students know and remember, make a connection with the content or the outside world.

Cochrane uses video clips as the main tool. It’s a great experience for students to see their favorite cartoon or show. They don’t initially know what they are about to learn, so they just focus on the video clip. The teacher then uses this engagement to link to the lesson and students discover that their interests or likes can be channeled into learning experiences.

Relevant Vocabulary

Your lesson must contain relevant vocabulary. Your vocabulary should be limited to the level of your student’s ability. Also, make sure it is used in context throughout your lesson. During the lesson, have students interact with the words.

Use relevant vocabulary. Teachers need to choose the most important and effective vocabulary. Teachers must use a graphic organizer to teach vocabulary or provide students with an experience that will help them learn it.

Limited Lecture

Reduce the amount of time you spend lecturing. After you have lectured for 12-15 minutes, you should encourage your students to participate in some sort of activity. After that, the teacher can return to lecturing for a longer period.

Students can engage in conversation with their peers, draw a picture, or write a few sentences about what they learned during the lecture.

Graphic Organizer

Students can use a graphic organizer to visually organize new information and review it after it has been learned.

Students must be able to critically evaluate the information that we provide them. Students will find it simple to use the graphic organizer. When students are presented with information in a well-organized format, it is easier for them to remember and retain it as well. Seeing the information when they get home is less intimidating than seeing a notebook with pages and pages of notes when they get to school or work.

Students can use colorful charts to record information, and they can use computers to create graphic organizers or a “foldable” to organize their information.

Student Movement

Students must be able to move around. Students must be mobile to ensure that they are engaged and mobile during instructional activities.

This is the most difficult task for Cochrane teachers, as it can be intimidating to get students to move around the classroom. Students can move in a variety of ways, and not all students are required to stand up. Students should be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the learning process. This is critical because students, particularly male students, despite being forced to sit still. It has been observed by the teachers that male students who participate actively in the classroom are more engaged with the material being taught.

Examples include students participating in a gallery walk, moving in groups from one corner of the gallery to the next, answering questions, and analyzing the information posted on the walls of the gallery. They work in groups or at stations that rotate through them.

Higher Order Thinking Questions

During the lesson, ask your students at least three questions that require higher-order thinking (also known as “HOT” questions). This demonstrates that you push all of your students to their limits.

The HOT questions are something that Cochrane is known for. They are intended to provide a challenging environment for students in the classroom. Teachers present these questions in a variety of ways, depending on the situation. The responses of students may provide insight into their learning pace. The same question should be answered by all students, except advanced learners, who may need to respond differently. Students can respond on paper, in class, in paired discussions, or by completing assignments at their own pace.


To bring the lesson to a close, summarise it. The ability of your students to answer the fundamental question effectively can be evaluated at this point in the learning process. You can also determine whether or not you need to improve or broaden your skillset.

Teachers must come up with innovative ways for students to respond to the fundamental question at the end of each lesson. When students can answer this essential question correctly, the teacher can gauge their progress in the subject matter. This is the point at which a teacher can determine whether or not she needs to reteach or accelerate student learning.

Illustrations and illustrations to summarise can be used in conjunction with a brief activity or prompt, a discussion, or an illustration. Alternatively, they could sum up their exit ticket.


You must complete your lessons completely. Activities should be difficult to complete and must move quickly. Students should not be allowed to become bored or to experience periods of boredom. Every lesson should include hands-on activities.

Teachers must make every effort to educate students at the highest level of their understanding. There are only 180 school days in a year, and many students do not enter school at the appropriate grade level. We have to make certain that they get the most out of the 90 minutes that we have in the classroom.

Students are at the center of everything.

Every lesson should be geared toward the needs of the students. Instruction must be geared toward the needs of the students. This includes the use of technology as a learning tool in the classroom. It provides students with relevant and engaging 21st-century skills that they can use in real-world situations and situations. It’s a collaborative effort: If you plan well, your students will learn and work more effectively.

You can take a step back from the learning process and instead of being “givers” of all knowledge in the classroom, you can become facilitators of that knowledge.