Jasper Roberts - Blog

My Thoughts on... Teaching Style

Just thought I'd give a quick run down on who I am as an educator, and my thoughts on teaching and educational practice. Each day this week I will be posting about one of these facets of teaching.

Up first...

Teaching Style: I like to learn alongside my students as much as possible. That's not to say that I don't lecture when I absolutely have to, but I think when you teach middle school it can be the kiss of death if done too much.
My method for each class period usually goes something like this:

  • Bellringer (either grammar, writing prompt, spelling words, or word within the word)
  • Introduction of lesson: I review what we are doing that day and try to introduce it in an interesting way. Sometimes I just talk about it, I use an app on the iPad, show a Keynote presentation, video clip, song, poem, or pictures. Sometimes I do a random activity that gets them involved.
  • Model: I model whatever we are doing that day with the students. So if we are doing plot structure, I will read a very short story with them, and we will go through together and plug in the parts of the plot.
  • Show Me: Students complete their task for the day. They may have to read a selection and fill out a plot chart.
  • Share It: I then ask them to present as a small group. Sticking with the plot structure lesson, I would give each group a section of the plot (ex. rising action) and they would have to present that part of the story in a creative way. They could act it out, create a poster, do a news bulletin, sing a song, whatever works for them and gets the point across to the rest of the class.
  • Finish Strong: I admit this is my weakness. I always seem to run out of time at the end of the period, but I always like to bring everyone back together and quickly recap what they learned that day. I would LOVE to have it be quickly firing off answers in a pop quiz type scenario. 
I feel like it's so important to allow students to work the way they feel most comfortable, so it's all about choices. I don't like to force students to work in groups if they prefer to work independently, and so on... which leads to my next topic, differentiation!


  1. I just finished my student teaching at a middle school (6, 7, and 8 combo class of new arrival students) and I can totally relate on the whole "running out of time at the end of the period" phenomenon. I feel like it happens all the time! I rarely use them but some of my student teacher friends swear by exit slips as a another way to close off a lesson if you are running out of time! :)

    1. BTW- I am adding your blog to my blog roll if that's ok! :)

    2. Sure thanks! Teachers unite! :)

  2. Congrats on finishing student teaching! I am working on a "parking lot" for my class that may be a good reminder for me to do exit slips with them. I will be posting it in the next couple of days. :)

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Thanks for stopping by! JW