SIOP Feature #13:  Provide ample opportunities for students to use strategies.

Two teachers smiling doing an activity

This feature of SIOP, using strategies, encourages teachers to actively teach students how to use specific learning strategies such as:  Problem solving, predicting, organizing, summarizing, categorizing, evaluating, self-monitoring, etc.  This can be quite empowering for students to practice and own the ability to use these strategies on their own.

The 13th feature of SIOP deals with making sure students are actively developing learning strategies.  Learning strategies like predicting, self-monitoring, and summarizing are critical to learning.  As teachers, we need to make sure we are consciously providing students lessons that empower them to use these strategies.  Some students seem naturally capable of employing learning strategies successfully without ever really having been taught how.  However, most students do not have that level of confidence or competence in using learning strategies.

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How can we teach learning strategies in meaningful ways?

There are a number of things that we can do to empower our students.  Most of them are simple.  Most take little extra effort to put into practice.  Here are five things you can do to help students own any learning strategy

  1. Give it a name:  We have to tell students what something is called.  Giving it a name helps students interact with the strategy in a safe way.  It also helps them by giving them language to talk about it.
  2. Model it for them:  When students see teachers using a strategy, it becomes much more accessible to them.  We can use think alouds (sharing our inner thought process) to enhance this process, showing our students how we think through the strategy.
  3. Use it frequently:  Teachers who constantly use strategies (no surprise) find their students do too.  Teachers who use strategies every once in a while find most of their students don't use these strategies on their own.
  4. Create a visual:  Make some kind of poster or anchor chart that celebrates the strategy, gives students a visual, and reminds the teacher to use it.
  5. Reflect on its usage:  Inviting students to take their own pulse and talk about how well they used a learning strategy helps students internalize the strategy and helps them improve it as well.

TESOL Trainers provides K-12 SIOP Professional Development Worldwide

TESOL Trainers is the world leader in experiential professional development programs.  We transform the way educators consider teaching and learning.  Whether you are interested in short or long term teacher training programs, here are three things John Kongsvik's programs have in common:

  1. Experiential - everything is done in an interactive format.
  2. Engaging - everyone connects to the content from the beginning to the end.
  3. Empowering - every person walks away with confidence and competence.

Please Contact us for detailed information on how we can help your educational institution set all teachers and learners up for success.

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