• Instructional Strategies for ESE Students


    Focus on the Essentials
    By identifying important principles, key concepts, and big ideas, students are able to make connections within the content and across the curriculum. When possible, develop thematic instruction that will allow students to make connections to self, text and world.

    Graphic organizers provide visuals so students can see the connections clearly as well as help the teacher to monitor their learning. Coordinate lessons and assignments across the curriculum or various classes.

    Make Linkages Obvious and Explicit
    Point out the key concepts and how they are connected or related to each other. This can be achieved by providing clear explanations and using visual aides.

    Prime Background Knowledge
    By activating prior knowledge and then connecting it to new information, students are able to comprehend the skill, concept, or content. You can easily do this by:

    • asking questions
    • making comparisons
    • relating events to self, text or world
    • providing critical background knowledge

    Provide Temporary Support for Learning
    Scaffolding allows you to provide student support in learning new information. The scaffolds are temporary support. This means when the students are learning a new skill or concept, you begin by modeling and then supporting their learning through ongoing practice before moving the responsibility to the students. As students become more independent, you gradually reduce the level of support until they have reached mastery.

    Use Conspicuous Steps and Strategies
    Give students explicit steps or procedures in order to solve problems. At first you will need to model the process using Think Alouds. Think Alouds slow down the reading or problem solving process in order to allow your students to take a peek inside your mind. By verbally expressing your thoughts, students learn what good readers do while reading. Posting the steps allows students to refer to them as needed, building independence.

    Review for Fluency and Generalization
    Provide many opportunities for students to practice the new skill or concept. Feedback on their performance and increase of knowledge is necessary to ensure students are retaining their newly found knowledge. Continuous monitoring of students insures student achievement. An affective way to communicate with students is through student – teacher conferences allowing you to speak to the needs of the individual student. For more information about providing feedback, the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory has research based findings and steps to implement constructive feedback to your students.

    Adapted from the State of Florida, Department of Education. Teaching Resources for Florida ESE, Instructional Strategies updated 2009.


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