How to Use Teacher’s Guides to Increase Student Learning
Teacher’s Guides are designed to simplify the process of providing instruction. They are scripted lesson plans that are lightweight, freeing teachers’ time to work with students in classroom activities. Some programs have successfully used them to increase student learning, particularly in literacy. A recent analysis offers guidelines for making them effective.
Teacher’s Guides are typically organized into three sections. Each section provides a detailed teaching sequence and includes reproducible materials for the classroom. Using a guide can also help make curricular content accessible to students with diverse backgrounds. Teachers should consider what a particular guide offers, as well as how it can best serve the needs of their students.
The African American Teacher’s Guide is a collection of resources for teachers who want to build lessons on the experiences of African Americans. It includes sample lessons, photocopiable blank forms, and a guide to field-tested techniques for working with students with disabilities. This book summarizes current research and provides resources that can be used to assess all levels of ability.
Busch Gardens and SeaWorld have produced their own teacher’s guides. These include curriculum-integrated lesson plans that are engaging and can be used to teach science, mathematics, geography, language, and environmental education. Depending on the guide, students can explore the history of a specific theme, participate in classroom activities, or even visit a museum to observe the art that is featured.
Thoughtful Learning handbooks have hundreds of downloadable activities to engage students in the topics and concepts discussed in the classroom. They include a year-long timetable, daily lesson plans, and assessment supports. Additionally, the company offers a free online Teacher’s Guide.
Thoughtful Learning also offers handbooks for college-bound students. These are full-color reproductions of featured artworks and include engaging lessons and classroom activities. Also available are student writing handbooks that provide students with a wide range of opportunities to practice writing.
The National Endowment for the Humanities has created an interactive library of digital resources for online teaching, including videos, podcasts, and games. In addition to the digital tools, the National Endowment for the Humanities has published several digital publications and has provided funding for educational programming.
A primary source analysis tool is available to allow students to analyze a variety of sources, such as documents, photographs, and other records. The tool allows students to respond to prompts, and it can be filled in manually. Students can then analyze the data and create a record. Afterwards, students can use the results to create a visual or written response.
TGs are not a permanent solution. Education systems should aim to gradually reduce their use as teacher expertise grows. However, a better-designed guide can help ensure that the most valuable and meaningful content is delivered to students.
Teaching guides have been found to be useful for reducing teacher preparation time, and for providing students with access to the best content. Many teachers have noted that their students’ knowledge and skills have increased when they have used a guide.