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Explicit Teacher Modeling

Purpose

The purpose of explicit teacher modeling is to provide students with a clear, multi-sensory model of a skill or concept. The teacher is the person best equipped to provide such a model.

 

What is it?

  • Teacher both describes and models the math skill/concept.
  • Teacher clearly describes features of the math concept or steps in performing math skill.
  • Teacher breaks math concept/skill into learnable parts.
  • Teacher describes/models using multi-sensory techniques.
  • Teacher engages students in learning through demonstrating enthusiasm, through maintaining a lively pace, through periodically questioning students, and through checking for student understanding.

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What are the critical elements of this strategy?

There are eight essential components of explicit instruction:

  1. Concept/skill is broken down into critical features/elements.
  2. Teacher clearly describes concept/skill.
  3. Teacher clearly models concept/skill.
  4. Multi-sensory instruction (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic)
  5. Teacher thinks aloud as she/he models.
  6. Teacher models examples and non-examples.
  7. Cueing
  8. High levels of teacher-student interaction

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How do I implement the strategy?

  1. Ensure that your students have the prerequisite skills to perform the skill.
  2. Break down the skill into logical and learnable parts (Ask yourself, "what do I do and what do I think as I perform the skill?").
  3. Provide a meaningful context for the skill (e.g. word or story problem suited to the age & interests of your students).
  4. Provide visual, auditory, kinesthetic (movement), and tactile means for illustrating important aspects of the concept/skill (e.g. visually display word problem and equation, orally cue students by varying vocal intonations, point, circle, highlight computation signs or important information in story problems).
  5. "Think aloud" as you perform each step of the skill (i.e. say aloud what you are thinking as you problem-solve).
  6. Link each step of the problem solving process (e.g. restate what you did in the previous step, what you are going to do in the next step, and why the next step is important to the previous step).
  7. Periodically check student understanding with questions, remodeling steps when there is confusion.
  8. Maintain a lively pace while being conscious of student information processing difficulties (e.g. need additional time to process questions).
  9. Model a concept/skill at least three times before beginning to scaffold your instruction.

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How Does This Instructional Strategy Positively Impact Students Who Have Learning Problems?

  • Teacher as model makes the concept/skill clear and learnable.
  • High level of teacher support and direction enables student to make meaningful cognitive connections.
  • Provides students who have attention problems, processing problems, memory retrieval problems, & metacognitive difficulties an accessible "learning map".
  • Links between subskills are directly made, making confusion and misunderstanding less likely.
  • Multi-sensory cueing provides students multiple modes to process and thereby learn information.

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Additional Information

Research Support For The Instructional Features Of This Instructional Strategy: Baker, Gersten, & Lee (2002); Baroody (1987); Borkowski (1992); Brophy & Good (1986); Carnine, Dixon, & Silbert (1998); Cobb, Yackel, and Wood (1992); Hall (2002); Kennedy & Tipps (2005); Kroesbergen & van Luit (2003); Mercer, Jordan, & Miller (1996); Mercer and Mercer, 2005; Miller, Butler, & Lee (1998); Montague (1992); Paris & Winograd (1990); Polloway & Patton (1993); Swanson (1999).

Combine Explicit Teacher Modeling With Building Meaningful Student Connections And Scaffolding Instruction

Explicit teacher modeling is most effective when combined with two additional instructional strategies. Before Explicit Teacher Modeling, you should build meaningful student connections between what students already know and what they are going to learn through an advanced organizer. This strategy helps "set the stage" for learning (See the teacher instruction strategy, Building Meaningful Student Connections). Scaffolding instruction after you have explicitly modeled the concept/skill at least three times provides students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned while receiving immediate feedback from the teacher (See the teacher instruction strategy, Scaffolding Instruction). Using these three teacher instruction strategies together and in the described sequence (i.e. 1.) Building Meaningful Student Connections; 2.) Explicit Teacher Modeling; 3.) Scaffolding Instruction) provides a very effective instructional foundation for concepts/skills students are initially learning or for which they need additional instruction.

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Videos

KEY

Video: each clip shows a teacher implementing an important instructional component of this instructional strategy.

Slideshow/Audio: Provides text and audio explanation of the videos including tips about what is being done that effectively addresses the needs of struggling learners.

Slideshow Script: Provides text of the audio portion of the slideshow (Word format).

Concrete

Running times: total video 6:00; total elab 11:25; total clip 17:25

Video
Slideshow w/Audio Slideshow Script

   Introduction

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   Clip 1

   Teacher and students read story problems

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   Clip 2

   Teacher relates addition equation to story problem/
   Identifies important informations

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   Clip 3

   Teacher descibes and models addition process

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   Clip 4

   Teacher adds context

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   Summary
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Thanks to Ms. Debbie Hawkins and all of the 4th Grade students at Clymore Elementary, Augusta Co. Schools!

Representational

Running times: total video 12:50; total elab 14:51; total clip 27:41

Video
Slideshow w/Audio Slideshow Script

   Introduction

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   Clip 1

   Teacher introduces context for problem solving

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   Clip 2

   Teacher introduces and reads aloud story problem

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   Clip 3

   Teacher cues students to important information in
   story problem

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   Clip 4

   Teacher explicitly relates division equation to story problem

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   Clip 5

   Teacher explicitly describes and models solving the

   division equation

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   Summary
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Thanks to Ms. Carolyn Campbell and all of the 3rd Grade students at Thalia Elementary, Virginia Beach City Schools!

Abstract

Running times: total video 4:57; total elab 10:12; total clip 15:09

Video
Slideshow w/Audio Slideshow Script

   Introduction

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download

   Clip 1

   Teacher introduces/Reads story problems

download

   Clip 2

   Teacher models finding the problem to be solved

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   Clip 3

   Teacher models finding important information and
   relates equation to the story problem

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   Clip 4

   Teacher models the addition process

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   Summary
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Thanks to Ms. Lori Tong and all of the 1st Grade students at Garrisonville Elementary, Stafford Co. Schools!

 

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