What are teaching strategies?

Teaching strategies, or instructional strategies, are methods you can use to deliver course material in ways that keep students engaged and practicing different kinds of skills. You can use various instructional strategies to achieve teaching and learning goals and support different kinds of students. Use specific strategies to teach skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and cooperative learning. Think about what strategies best align with the unit topic, learning level, class size, and available classroom resources.

Using teaching strategies in the classroom

Effective teachers know that innovative teaching strategies are vital for significant learning and growth in the classroom. Using a range of teaching strategies can provide a space for students to grow and take calculated risks. These strategies form part of a positive classroom culture, where students feel connected with you, each other, and the class content.

Examples of teaching strategies

The teaching strategy of setting goals may use the SMART goal framework, while collaborative learning encourages a range of collaborative learning activities and group work opportunities. Adding an interactive video question layer to your lesson instantly transforms the learning experience from passive to active. Personalized playlists and scaffolded interactives help differentiate learning and teaching for your class’s different learning styles and needs.


What are high-impact teaching strategies (HITS)?
The HITS are 10 instructional practices that reliably increase student learning wherever they are applied. 
  • Setting Goals: Lessons have clear learning intentions with goals that clarify what success looks like. 
  • Structuring Lessons: Planned sequencing of teaching and learning activities stimulates and maintains engagement by linking lesson and unit learning. 
  • Explicit Teaching: When teachers adopt explicit teaching practices, they clearly show students what to do and how to do it.
  • Worked Examples: By scaffolding the learning, worked examples support skill acquisition and reduce a learner’s cognitive load. 
  • Collaborative Learning: This occurs when students work in small groups and everyone participates in a learning task, actively negotiating roles, responsibilities, and outcomes. 
  • Multiple Exposures: Multiple exposures provide students with numerous opportunities to encounter, engage with, and elaborate on new knowledge and skills.
  • Questioning: Questioning engages students, stimulates interest and curiosity in learning, and links to students’ lives. 
  • Feedback: Feedback redirects or refocuses teacher and student actions so the student can align effort and activity with a clear outcome that leads to achieving a learning goal. 
  • Metacognitive Strategies: Metacognitive strategies teach students to think about their thinking to help them gain control over their learning. 
  • Differentiated teaching: Differentiated teaching is a way to extend the knowledge and skills of every student in every class, regardless of their starting point.
Which teaching strategies work best for ELL (English Language Learners) students?
Team teaching is an effective strategy to use when working with ELL students. This is where the classroom teacher and an ELL teacher share responsibility for assessing students, planning, and teaching an ELL program. Team teaching is a particularly useful strategy when introducing new tasks or information to ELL learners. Team teaching provides the flexibility to include small group work and a range of classroom configurations and activities.
What strategies can I use to teach reading?
Teaching vocabulary helps students understand more of what they hear. Improving students’ overall language skills means they are more likely to understand the words they encounter in written text. Students should also be explicitly taught comprehension skills such as sequencing, story structure, inference, etc. Students should have various opportunities to independently read texts at their level and re-read texts the teacher has read aloud.
Which teaching strategies work best with elementary students?
Differentiation has a definite place in the elementary classroom. The purpose of allocating tasks based on a student’s abilities is to ensure no student gets left behind. Individuals with higher academic capabilities have the opportunity to be stretched, while those who are struggling can access the appropriate support. Differentiation might look like varying task options or setting up a range of workstations for students to choose from.
Which teaching strategies suit middle and high school students?
Integrating technology into the classroom is a great way to empower students to stay connected, motivated, and engaged in their learning. You could do this by creating web-based lessons or multimedia presentations, taking your class on a virtual excursion, participating in an online research project, or creating a class website.