Teacher modeling

I have found over the years that Teacher Modeling is one of the most effective and powerful teaching techniques in any subject area for any student, especially skill areas such as decoding, reading comprehension, math calculation processes, math problem solving, note-taking, and writing.

I understand the concern and debate regarding learned helplessness, but my own experience has been that when teacher modeling is removed or a concrete model is moved too quickly to an abstract concept without intermediate steps, the student shows characteristics of learned helplessness.

For students who are given adequate teacher modeling, most students assertively state when they are ready to try a skill on their own.  I have found that many students want independence before they are actually ready, but eagerness for independence is a goal many parents and teachers hope they will develop in their students with special needs.

Learning to trust each other and being honest with each other as teacher and learner is critical in knowing how and when to wean from teacher modeling.  Homeschoolers are in the best situation for being able to make individual adaptations to instruction for any student.

An effective progression of instruction follows the following steps:

1) Explanation or description of the skill, process, or reasoning.

2) Teacher Modeling of the skill.

3) Guided Coaching while the Teacher and Student work together practicing the skill.

4) Student performing independently, yet Teacher Monitored with Coaching and Correction.

5) Student practices independently with Checking within 24 hours.

 Student demonstrates mastery of skill and no longer requires instruction or guidance.

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