George Lucas Educational Foundation
New Teachers

New Teacher Academy: Delivery of Instruction

January 31, 2012

Welcome to week three of Edutopia's New Teacher Academy blog series! I'm excited to be here with you sharing my passion to support and mentor new teachers. I hope that you will stay with us as we continue to look at five key topics designed to provide resources for new teachers in five key areas. To collaborate in more detail on these and other topics, I invite you to join my weekly New Teacher chat on Twitter, and also to visit my blog Teaching with Soul.

Please view this video as I share a few words on our focus for this week.

Today's guest contributor is Paula Naugle, a fourth grade teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. Paula is an experienced teacher with 30 years in the field. She is always eager to collaborate and offer support to new teachers.

Paula Naugle teaches math and social studies to fourth-graders at a suburban public school near New Orleans. She loves using Web 2.0 tools such as Skype, Glogster, Edmodo, and Google docs. Paula has taught for over 30 years and loves it more each day. You can find her blog at

Delivery of Instruction with Paula Naugle

Assessment created. Check. Lessons back plan from assessment.* Check. Materials gathered. Check. Now comes the really fun part -- delivery of instruction. Here are some things I keep in mind as I deliver my lessons.

1) Decide on Your Delivery Method

This is the critical first step! Will you be doing a whole group, teacher-led lesson? Will you use cooperative learning? Is this lesson best suited for small group instruction? Will the students be doing an inquiry lesson? Have a game plan in mind for how you will launch the lesson, but remember to always be flexible as needs or schedule changes arise.

2) Hook the Students into the Lesson

This is the perfect place to have some technology integration happening. Show a great video clip to set the stage. Check background knowledge by having the students add sticky notes to an online corkboard (e.g. Linoit, Wallwisher) telling what they already know about the topic of your lesson. Have them use student response systems to take a pretest.

3) Give Clear Directions

Make sure all ears are tuned in as you deliver instruction. Have a verbal or visual signal. Once you have everyone's attention, state your expectations for the lesson. Ask the students to paraphrase the instructions you just gave them. Have one or two students model what you are expecting them to do.

4) Question, Allow Wait Time, Use Random Selection

As you proceed through your lesson, you will want to check for understanding. Have a system in place to randomly call on students. This could be in the form of popsicle sticks with the students' names on them, or an online random name generator. I like to pose the question, provide appropriate wait time (five seconds or more) for students to formulate an answer, and then randomly select a student to respond. When your students know that any one of them could be selected, they will all tend to think of an answer.

5) Be Aware of Your Pacing, Variety and Enthusiasm

Keep the tempo of your instruction at the pace that best meets the needs of your students. Are they confused? Slow down. Are they getting restless? Speed things up a bit. Remember that variety is the spice to life. Add a lot of variety to your delivery of instruction. This can be accomplished through flexible grouping, rotating through learning centers or using various web tools. Most importantly, be very enthusiastic about your instruction. Read stories with voices, allow yourself to be silly, and always add humor. If you are bored delivering your instruction, imagine how the students are feeling!

6) Use Formative Assessments for Evaluation and Reflection

Every lesson we deliver has something we want our students to "get." How will you find out it they "got" it? One way is to ask questions that all students must respond to with a hand signal such as thumbs up or down. Another way is to have the students complete an exit slip before transitioning to the next class or lesson.

And most importantly you need to reflect on the effectiveness of the delivery of your instruction. What worked? What didn't? If you were to re-teach this lesson, what would you keep and what would you change? Self-reflection is a vital step in helping you become the best teacher you can be!

Useful Links for Lesson Delivery

As you look at ways to deliver lessons that are vibrant and engaging, here are a few additional links that you may want to check out.

*If you haven't heard of backwards planning or mapping, you will want to check out Understanding by Design (link).

We'd love to hear how you prepare to deliver instruction. Got ideas? Tell us about what works for you and what strategies you use. If you have questions along the way, share them in our New Teacher Connection group or Tweet them using the hashtag #ntchat , and we will get back to you. Be sure to also join us tomorrow for New Teacher Chat at 5pt/8et. Our topic will be...Delivery of Instruction. Hope to see you there!

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