ERIC Identifier: ED291206
Publication Date: 1987-00-00
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and
Gifted Children Reston VA.
Lesson Structure: Research to Practice, ERIC Digest #448.
RESEARCH FINDINGS: Teacher effectiveness studies have identified a number of
critical components of a lesson for initial instruction. For mildly handicapped
students, seven elements of a teacher-directed lesson are included: attention,
review, goal, mode, prompt, check, and close. GAIN THE LEARNER'S ATTENTION:
Gaining the attention of mildly handicapped students is critical for influencing
student achievement. The teachers's task is to direct selective attention to the
relevant activity. Indeed, a satisfactory criterion for maintaining student
involvement in teacher-directed activities is 90% task engagement.
Attention can be gained by using verbal prompting such as "Look here,"
"Listen," "Let's begin," followed by a pause. Teachers need to monitor to ensure
that students are attending. REVIEW RELEVANT PAST LEARNING: Learning is optimal
when students can establish a link between new information and what they already
know. Review can take the form of guiding students in correcting independent
work or homework. Teachers can systematically review prerequisite skills for the
lesson. For example, when two-digit division is being taught, one-digit division
should be reviewed. COMMUNICATE THE GOAL OF THE LESSON: Low-achieving students
learn best when teachers make reference to what is being learned, why it is
important, and if appropriate, how it relates to other learning.
The goal should be stated briefly. If appropriate, the students should also
be told the relevance of the specific skill or activity. For example: "Today we
are going to learn to proofread our work. We want to learn to proofread in order
to catch careless errors." MODEL THE SKILL TO BE LEARNED: Effective teachers
demonstrate the skill prior to eliciting student responses. High student success
rates are seen in classrooms where instruction proceeds in small steps that are
not too difficult.
When modeling, the demonstration should be very clear. Steps should be
exaggerated so the students will attend to the critical features. When a complex
skill is being taught, it is important to ask questions of students to verify
their understanding and increase their attention. Steps need to proceed in small
increments, with explicit directions. The model may need to be repeated several
times. PROMPT FOR CORRECT RESPONSE: Effective teaching includes guided practice
with prompts and feedback. Optimal learning is created by preventing incorrect
responses and eliciting as many correct responses as possible.
With mildly handicapped students, prompted practice is continued until
students have demonstrated a very high level of proficiency.
Prompting can be accomplished by having teacher and student do the behavior
at the same time, such as, "Read the word with me." Student and teacher can
simultaneously observe each other.
With higher level skills, prompting can also be done by verbal clues as the
student performs behaviors. For example: Teacher: Read this problem. Student: 34
plus 9. Teacher What column do we add first? Student: The one's column. Teacher:
Read the one's column. Student: 4 plus 9. Teacher: What is 4 plus 9? (Pause).
Student: 13, etc. CHECK FOR SKILL MASTERY: When students have demonstrated
proficiency in performing the behavior, they then perform the behavior under
supervision with no prompting.
During unprompted practice, the response needs to be monitored carefully.
Feedback must be provided after every item and continued until students are
consistently responding correctly. The teacher provides a number of successful
repetitions. CLOSE THE LESSON: A definite closure to the lesson is needed for
mildly handicapped students. This close can be accomplished by reviewing the
skill, discussing what will be covered in the next lesson, or introducing
independent work or homework.
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