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Unformatted text preview: d help. Begin by asking if there are learning tasks that your students
struggle with because they don’t have a good method for approaching those tasks. Once
you identify the area of need, you need to identify strategies that might address that need.
There are a number of useful books and articles that describe different types of strategies.
(O’Shea. O’Shea, & Algozzine, 1998; Pressley & Woloshyn, 1995; Wood, Woloshyn, &
Willoughby, 1995). In addition, we have provided a web site at the end of the chapter that
provides a description of various learning strategies.
On occasion, however, you may also find it useful to create your own strategies,
possibly because you want to tailor a strategy to your specific context or because you
can’t locate a relevant strategy. There are references that may help you think through this
process (Babkie & Provost, 2002; Lambert, 2000). When your authors have helped
teachers develop cognitive strategies, we begin by brainstorming what successful learners 37
do with the task of interest. We next try to sequence and group that knowledge into a
manageable series of steps. We follow that by selecting words to describe the steps that
can be used to create an acronym for the steps in the strategy. Figure 8.8 (appears at the
end of the chapter) provides an example of teachers’ use of this process to create a
strategy for helping students write answers to essay questions.
How do I teach a strategy? In order to apply a cognitive strategy effectively,
students need to acquire considerable knowledge about their strategies. For example, they
need to learn know how to execute a strategy, when and why to use a strategy, how to
coordinate different strategies, and how to monitor their use of a strategy (Snyder &
Pressley, 1995; Wood, et al., 1995). Both explicit strategy instruction models and
collaborative and interactive models of strategy instruction such as reciprocal teaching
are designed to help students acquire the necessary knowledge for effective strategy use.
Explicit-strategy instruction involves the direct explanation and modeling of
cognitive strategies, and the opportunity for students to receive coaching and guided
practice with the strategy (Bos & Vaughn, 2002; Deshler, Ellis, & Lenz, 1996; Lambert,
2000; Pressley, Goodchild, Fleet, Zajchowski, & Evans, 1989; Rafoth, Leal, & Defabo,
1993; Roehler & Duffy, 1984; Snyder & Pressley, 1995). In general, explicit strategy
instruction involves the following components.
• The teacher describes the strategy and models its use for students. • The teacher informs students of when and why to use the strategy. • Students are provided with guided practice and coaching as they apply the
• Students are asked to reflect on the use of the strategy, which might
involve assessing the effectiveness of the strategy or considering how to
modify the strategy for future use. • Students are provided with independent practice opportunities. When implementing the components listed above, you should also consider the
following factors that infl...
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- Spring '08