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Letter from the Authors of Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School

As we revised, this book we were mindful of our students: pre-service middle school and high school teachers who are enrolled in instructional methods courses.

Dear Colleagues,

As we revised, this book we were mindful of our students: pre-service middle school and high school teachers who are enrolled in instructional methods courses. We call these students aspiring teachers, because they aspire to become effective teachers who help their students learn. We frequently notice, however, that aspiring teachers struggle with selecting instructional strategies, and oftentimes the strategies they select do not line up with the curriculum. For example, a teacher will decide to lecture because it is efficient, and not because it is deemed to the best strategy for helping students learn a set of key concepts; or a teacher will use a simulation or group project to “add some variety” to the day, and not because these approaches will promote student learning more effectively than others. Similarly, decisions about the assessment of student learning, making the lesson work for all the students in a classroom, classroom management, use of digital technology, and many other common areas of the classroom are difficult for aspiring teachers to make because each decision is modified based on the content being learned and the instructional activities planned for the class session. Aspiring teachers need guidance as they make decisions, and this is why we decided to write Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School. In this book, we explore assessment and management with a different approach than other textbooks. We introduce assessment of student learning and ideas for managing the classroom in chapter one, and then build on that introduction in each of the succeeding chapters, thus contextualizing the roles of classroom management and assessment within the framework of specific instructional strategies. In addition, each chapter features a section on “Teaching with Technology” and “Teaching English Language Learners,” with an emphasis on realistic examples and suggestions.

The first four chapters take a look at the fundamental aspects of teaching. We define and discuss the classroom learning community and the complex considerations of curriculum, assessment, and planning (those topics that may seem daunting to a beginning teacher). Examples and suggestions are provided as a jumping off place to start the reader in thinking, and to assist in your classroom discussions about what they are reading. The second section of the book spends an entire chapter on each of seven instructional strategies. We walk through step-by-step procedures, logistical concerns, classroom management and assessment techniques unique to each strategy. If an aspiring teacher needs suggestions on including English Language Learners in a lesson featuring cooperative learning, they will find a discussion tailored to the unique concerns of this strategy.

Going right along with our emphasis on technology and the classroom, a fully revamped and comprehensive companion website includes student and instructor materials that stress real-world application of strategies, classroom assessment, and management. Prompts in book direct the reader to videos of high school and middle school teachers demonstrating exemplary teaching. We edited the video segments so they are about ten minutes long, but they intend to capture a fairly unedited segment of each classroom strategy in action. Along with the video, we have questions and prompts that scroll through as the video plays. This allows us (and you) to focus the viewer on key parts of what they are observing.

It would be our pleasure to supply you with a complimentary copy of the book. Look it over and tell us what you think.

Sincerely,

Bruce E. Larson &Timothy A. Keiper

 

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  1. Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School

    2nd Edition

    By Bruce E. Larson, Timothy A. Keiper

    Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School is an accessible, practical, and engaging methods textbook that introduces pre-service teachers to various instructional strategies and helps them to decide how and when to use these methods in the classroom. Classrooms are comprised of diverse...

    Published September 25th 2012 by Routledge