Lecturing is a common method for delivering a lot of material to students. In a lecture, the teacher stands in front of the room and explains the material. While you should not lecture to your students every day, there is a time and a place for a lecture, especially in the upper grades. Lectures will often provide students with the greatest amount of material in the shortest amount of time. Further, helping students work on taking notes during lectures will give them an important skill for their future educational careers.
Issues to Consider
Many education professionals claim that lecture is not an effective form of instruction. They argue that it does not engage the students in the learning process because students are passive during the lecture while the teacher is active. Some educational professionals go so far as to say there is never a good time for lecture.
However, this can be a disservice to students, especially those who are preparing for college. They will have many college professors who will do nothing but lecture. Therefore, when you decide that a lecture is the best method for a particular lesson, be sure to help your students by providing verbal clues and teaching them note-taking techniques.
You will definitely want to consider the make up of students in your class when deciding whether to lecture. If you have a lot of learning-disabled students in your class who would have a hard time listening and taking notes at the same time, you might want to provide them with a written form of your lecture.
Some teachers give students a written outline at the beginning of the lecture so that students can then add further information to the outline during the lecture. Other teachers wait until the end or only give the outlines to students with learning disabilities.
Helping Students with Lectures
Note taking can be a difficult task for many students. Therefore, it is important that educators help students learn how to take notes. Many students have problems understanding how to take notes because they cannot discern what is and what is not important. Therefore, when you are first teaching your students how to listen to lectures, it is important to teach them verbal cues that teachers often use to inform students that an important point has been made.
One example of a verbal clue is repetition. If you repeat a point two or three times, students should realize that it is important and is something they need to write down and remember. Similarly, if you write words and points down on the board or overhead as you are talking, students will realize that they too need to be jotting down the information. You can be even more overt and make a statement before each really important piece of information that lets the students know they need to remember what you are about to say.