TEACH 2 is pretty self explanatory in my opinion. If you are having trouble explaining the content, you should definitely consider using a variety of ways to actually explain what you are wanting the children to understand. If you are a teacher that loves to stand in front of the dry erase board and lecture about what you are wanting them to know about the objective, then chances are, some students are not listening or following (unless you are really good at character voices and dressing up to gain their interest) along with what you are saying. This is where knowing your students and how they learn best comes in. Most elementary students are not auditory learners. They are visual learners. In fact, most people in general are visual learners, which means you need some color and some pizazz with your lesson in order to get all students to understand and to help you explain the content more effectively. Sometimes a small video can redirect what you are trying to say. Sometimes all it takes is a smartboard lesson or a simple game to get them engaged. If students are not understanding, you have to differentiate your instruction in order to explain the content so ALL students are understanding. I want to look at level 3 under the TEACH 2 indicator. You'll need your TEM 4.0 rubric to follow along. If you do not have one handy, go to the "TEM 4.0" tab and download one.
1. You have to make sure it is clear and accurate. If you teach 3rd grade and need to break it down to a kindergarten level for some students, then hey... do it! Break it down so those individual students can understand it! This may even go as far as giving them a simpler objective statement (but it is still the same objective) in order to simply process what you are wanting them to know so they are able to effectively demonstrate understanding through other differentiated activities.
2. As I said earlier, use as many various approaches as you can in order to get them to understand. This includes text based assignments/activities. Again, break it down for each student.
3. Understanding how your student learns is the most important aspect when explaining content to them. Know what they enjoy at home or hobbies they have and come up with scenarios and examples based on those interests. Basketballs can be used as examples for pretty much anything. At this age, what elementary boy doesn't like basketballs?
4. This is where you want to use the vocabulary that goes along with your lesson. If students are having trouble with certain vocabulary terms that you really need them to understand to be able to define their learning, then take that vocabulary and tweek it. Put it into a song, scaffold it the best way you can, or come up with some creative way to get them understanding what it means or how they can put it into their own terms. This way you are using the academic language that is developmentally appropriate, and is clear and concise to that individual student. This way they are demonstrating knowledge of the objective, but in their own terms. Self discovery of content!
5. This is pretty much what I have already mentioned above. Know your student and deliver the content in various ways... preferably through their interests or from previously learned knowledge.
6. This is a simple way for you to see who understands and who does not. Simply ask the students if they have any questions. Ask them who does not understand. If you have built a safe, loving, and trusting classroom environment, then students should feel comfortable letting you know that they do not understand, even around other students. There are ways around this technique too. Color cards, colored sticks, etc. There are plenty of strategies you could use to get students to let you know that they are not understanding.
7. This is SO important!!! You HAVE to model the expectation. Even if you have been teaching the same objective all week and you ASSUME that 100% of students have mastered the objective, you still need to MODEL the objective before you begin teaching or explaining the content. Explain the content as you model!
8. This is pretty much taking everything you have taught and explaining it step by step from beginning to end. Use a visual to help you out by demonstrating what the end goal should look like, or summarize it as effectively as you can.
In order to move up to levels 4 and 5....
Make sure you are getting the students involved in it. Ask students to become the teachers in order to explain the content clearly to other students. Ask a student to come up and facilitate a smartboard activity or to explain what they know and how they know it to the class. Give the students a choice on how they want to show you that they understand the content and how they want to explain it to you. As long as the students are involved and working together and demonstrating knowledge and you have hit everything in level 3, you should be good to go!
What student wouldn't expect a clear explanation?