8 Best Alternative Teaching Methods

Get your students more active and engaged with these alternative teaching methods!

alternative teaching methodsDo you ever get to the end of a school day and feel exhausted from talking? Do you tend to rely on presenting lessons with a lecture and notes? Are your students feeling bored or acting out? Start off the new school year taking a step back from “stand-and-deliver” teaching and try one of these more engaging and interactive alternative teaching methods!

1. Flip the Script with a Flipped Classroom

One of the hottest alternative teaching methods is implementing a flipped classroom. Rather than lecturing in class, students watch or read lessons at home and complete hands-on experiences while in class. The “homework” becomes the lesson, and the “lesson” becomes the action! Flip your classroom with the help of our guide.

2. Step Down from Being the Only One with One-to-One

alternative teaching methodsGive your voice a rest by letting your students use technology in this alternative teaching method. This could include the use of interactive websites, webquests, videos, and other activities. You could even utilize this tool for quick formative assessments and class dialogue. Learn more tips for getting the most out of one-to-one.

3. Transform Your Classroom into a “Makerspace”

The maker movement is rising in popularity and is a great way to integrate STEAM as an alternative teaching method. Get your students working in teams to create and innovate using digital tools. This could include basic coding, robotics, or 3-D printing. Add this element to your next class project with the help of our resources.

4. Engage Your Students in Project-Based Learning

PBL is quickly becoming the hot topic in alternative teaching. Rather than pushing memorization and test-taking, project-based learning allows students to show mastery of content through projects. Projects range from public service announcements to debates, and can be tailored to the needs of your individual students. Download our free guide here!

5. Spark Curiosity with Genius Hours

alternative teaching methodsSet aside some time for your students to follow their ideas and passions. This could be as simple as an hour a month, or spare time you have during the week. Similar to project-based learning, you can spark productivity and creativity with a driving question that all the students are working toward. The key is to let your students be creative in how they get there. Check out our great tips for starting a Genius Hour in your classroom as an alternative teaching method.

6. Build on Student Experience with Experiential Learning

In this alternative teaching method, students learn through an experience and process rather than a lecture. Once again, students are solving problems, but this time there is an added element of reflection. This essential piece cements student understanding with longer-lasting effects as compared to the traditional lesson. Read more about this form of learning!

7. Turn Your Students into Gamers with Game-Based Learning

alternative teaching methodsMost of our students love playing games, which makes this a great alternative teaching method! There are many educational games out there that have come a long way from the times of Oregon Trail. One of the most popular games that is sure to get your students’ attention is the new education edition of Minecraft. Games will not only help your students learn the content, but also further develop their 21st Century skills. Explore these tips to learn more!

8. Go Beyond the Classroom with Virtual Field Trips

Don’t have the funds to take a field trip? Try a virtual field trip! This can include virtual tours of museums and historic sites, or even connections with guest speakers and other classrooms all around the world. Your students will get to experience the world without even leaving their seats. Check out this list of great resources for virtual field trip ideas and opportunities.

Whether it is through projects, technology, games, or field trips, there are plenty of ways to integrate alternative teaching methods into your classroom next fall. Take a risk and step out of the spotlight. You will be amazed by the creative products your students will make and unique places your students will take you!

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Alexandra D. Owens

Alexandra Owens is a STEM Education consultant based in Charleston, SC. She taught middle school science for many years and is now completing her doctorate in STEM Education at Texas Tech University.
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