Most adults have warm memories of their kindergarten or other elementary grade teachers. Elementary school represents many children's first introduction to formal learning. From the ages of around four to 11, students are taught many important skills from a series of teachers. Finding the best teaching methods and strategies to encourage learning and create a comfortable educational setting is essential when preparing children for their academic careers.
Use active listening as a teaching method in assisting children who might not have the verbal skills needed to fully express themselves. Active listening is similar to play-by-play sportscasting in that teachers describe activities and behaviors to children while they are performing the action. Active listening techniques also help during an exchange between students when feelings are not properly expressed. Not only does active listening assist with resolving conflict in the classroom, it also aids in teaching by streaming directions and information to primary students.
Offering positive feedback is a way that elementary educators help educate and guide their students. Constructive feedback offers students direct praise for a job well done. By incorporating constructive feedback methods into the classroom, teachers acknowledge children when they are on task or following directions. This feedback also encourages other children to follow the lead of the child receiving the praise. This approach of praising a child for good behavior is significantly more impactful than punishment for a student who is having difficulty following the rules.
Teachers can also focus on the children's trust and interest in each other as a teaching method. Peer teaching encourages children to help each other and work together. If one child is excelling in an area where another child is having difficulty, teaming the two for a joint project encourages them to learn from each other. Peer teaching can also be accomplished with individual projects that are then presented to classroom peers.
Working together can encourage learning and community among children. Creating job charts or classroom lists is a way to list and track daily duties that need to be completed. Allow the children to select who is in charge for the day and who will complete specific tasks on the list. Working together encourages classroom harmony and allows children to take turns being in charge of a task. This further can build self-esteem and encourage communication.
While many aspects of teaching in elementary school have to do with teacher to student interactions, teachers can also utilize professional development and outside learning options as a tool. By keeping up with trends and new ideas in primary education, teachers are able to introduce new ideas and teaching methods into their classroom.