Teaching and Learning Strategies | Ophea Teaching Tools

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    Teaching and Learning Strategies

    An educator must select a variety of instructional strategies to meet the varied needs of all learners.[1]Instructional activities should strive for maximum participation (e.g., ensure sufficient equipment, and choose appropriate activities) and provide the opportunity for learners to practise and repeat activities in order to improve their skills. Educators are encouraged to vary teaching styles to assist learners in becoming independent. Technology, which provides important teaching and learning tools, should be used whenever possible. 

    The following teaching and learning strategies are used within the Level Up resource:


    • Content for a given topic is divided into sections based on the number of learner groups. Working in small groups, learners move from one topic to the next after a specific amount of time signified by the educator.

    Exit Cards

    • Learners respond to questions posed at the end of a class or learning activity (could be written, oral, or visual).
    • Learners put their names on cards and respond to a question given by the educator, and then hand it in before they leave the classroom.
    • The educator can use the responses when planning further instruction and determining grouping and next steps.

    Gallery Walk

    • Each learner can review demonstrated knowledge of other learners and reflect on his or her own learning.
    • Learner work is displayed around the room; learners move at their own pace throughout the room, observing and reflecting on work as if they are in an art gallery.


    • Each learner of a “home” group can specialize in one aspect of a learning unit.
    • Learners meet with members from other groups who are assigned the same aspect and then, after mastering the material, return to the “home” group and teach the material to their group members.
    • It promotes learner accountability in that each part is essential for the completion of the activity.

    Mind Map

    • A graphic organizer, it supports the exploration of a key topic. With the key word in the middle, learners make connections to this word by writing “bubbles” of words around it to show their connectedness.

    Rapid Write

    • Learners get to generate as many ideas as possible in the command of an educator without having to worry about language conventions.
    • Often, this raw material can be revised to be included in “good copies” of their ideas.


    • This graphic organizer has two vertical columns; learners compare and contrast two items/concepts, one in each column.

    Think Pair Share

    • This provides learners with the opportunity to process their thoughts and to check their ideas with a partner before, during, or after instruction.
      • Think: for a moment (or read a piece of text, or write about an idea or concept)
      • In Pairs: discuss thinking, reading, or writing with a partner and determine what to share with a larger group
      • Share: ideas or responses with a larger group

    Thumbs Up

    • Learners give a thumbs up hand signal to demonstrate that they understand the content, thumbs middle to demonstrate they are on their way to understanding, and thumbs down to signify that they have a question or need more time with the content.

    Venn Diagram

    • A graphic organizer of two circles where the centre of the circles overlap. Learners compare and contrast the similarities and differences of two ideas/concepts, writing differences within their own circle and similarities in the overlapping area.

    [1] Ontario Ministry of Education. (2008). Teaching–learning critical pathways. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/teaching_learning.pdf