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Structured Teaching Method

The Structured Teaching Method for Preschoolers: An Effective Approach for Early Childhood Education

As parents and educators, we all want the best for our preschoolers. We want them to develop the necessary skills that will help them succeed academically and socially. The structured teaching method is an approach that has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. This method is highly effective in promoting the development of essential skills in preschoolers, and it provides a structured environment that helps preschoolers thrive. In this article, we will explore the structured teaching method for preschoolers in detail.


What is the Structured Teaching Method?

The structured teaching menthod is an approach to education that provides a highly structured environment for preschoolers. This method is designed to help preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders, but it has been found to be highly effective for all preschoolers. The structured teaching method is based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) and focuses on teaching skills in a structured and systematic way.

The structured teaching method is divided into three main components: physical structure, individual work systems, and structured teaching strategies.


Physical Structure

The physical structure of the classroom is an essential component of the structured teaching method. The physical structure is designed to create a highly structured and predictable environment for preschoolers. The classroom is divided into different work areas, and each work area is designed to teach a specific skill. Each work area is clearly labelled, and preschoolers are taught to work independently in each area.


Individual Work Systems

Individual work systems are another essential component of the structured teaching method. Individual work systems are designed to help preschoolers work independently and develop essential skills. Each child has their own individual work system, which consists of a series of tasks that are designed to teach specific skills. The tasks are presented in a specific order, and preschoolers are taught to complete each task independently.


Structured Teaching Strategies

The structured teaching method uses a range of structured teaching strategies to help preschoolers learn. These strategies include task analysis, visual schedules, and reinforcement.

Task analysis involves breaking down complex skills into smaller, more manageable steps. Each step is taught systematically, and preschoolers are taught to master each step before moving on to the next.

Visual schedules are used to provide preschoolers with a clear understanding of their daily routines. Visual schedules are designed to be highly visual and include pictures or symbols that represent each activity.

Reinforcement is used to encourage and reward preschoolers for their efforts. Positive reinforcement is used to reward desirable behaviour, and negative reinforcement is used to discourage undesirable behaviour.


Benefits of the Structured Teaching Method

The structured teaching method has a range of benefits for preschoolers. This method is highly effective in promoting the development of essential skills, and it provides a structured environment that helps preschoolers thrive. Some of the key benefits of the structured teaching method include:

Improved academic performance: The structured teaching method is highly effective in promoting the development of essential academic skills, such as reading, writing, and math.

Increased independence: The individual work systems used in the structured teaching method help preschoolers develop essential independence skills.

Improved social skills: The structured teaching method provides a highly structured and predictable environment that helps preschoolers develop essential social skills, such as communication and cooperation.

Reduced anxiety: The structured teaching method provides a predictable and structured environment that helps preschoolers feel more secure and reduces anxiety.

Increased motivation: The reinforcement used in the structured teaching method helps preschoolers stay motivated and engaged in their learning.


Challenges of the Structured Teaching Method

While the structured teaching method has many benefits, it also has some challenges. One of the main challenges of the structured teaching method is the need for highly structured and predictable environments. This can be difficult to achieve in some settings, such as busy classrooms with many distractions. Another challenge of the structured teaching method is the need for highly trained educators who can implement the method effectively. Implementing the structured teaching method requires a significant amount of training and expertise, and not all educators may have access to this training.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of the structured teaching method make it a highly effective approach for early childhood education.


The Physical Structure of the Classroom

The physical structure of the classroom is an essential component of the structured teaching method. The classroom is designed to create a highly structured and predictable environment for preschoolers. The classroom is divided into different work areas, and each work area is designed to teach a specific skill. Each work area is clearly labelled, and preschoolers are taught to work independently in each area.

The physical structure of the classroom includes several key features. Firstly, the classroom is divided into different work areas, each designed to teach a specific skill. For example, there may be a reading area, a writing area, and a math area. Each work area is clearly labelled with visual cues, such as pictures or symbols, to help preschoolers identify each area.

Secondly, the physical structure of the classroom includes storage areas for materials and supplies. Each work area is equipped with the necessary materials and supplies, and preschoolers are taught to retrieve and return materials independently.

Thirdly, the classroom includes a clearly defined transition area, where preschoolers can move between work areas. The transition area is also clearly labelled with visual cues, and preschoolers are taught to move between work areas independently.

By providing a highly structured and predictable physical environment, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers feel more secure and reduces anxiety. The physical structure of the classroom also helps preschoolers develop essential organizational and independence skills.


Individual Work Systems

Individual work systems are another essential component of the structured teaching method. Individual work systems are designed to help preschoolers work independently and develop essential skills. Each child has their own individual work system, which consists of a series of tasks that are designed to teach specific skills. The tasks are presented in a specific order, and preschoolers are taught to complete each task independently.

Individual work systems include several key features. Firstly, each child has their own individual work system, which is tailored to their specific needs and abilities. The work system includes a series of tasks, each designed to teach a specific skill.

Secondly, the tasks in the work system are presented in a specific order, with each task building on the skills learned in the previous task. This helps preschoolers develop essential skills in a structured and systematic way.

Thirdly, preschoolers are taught to complete each task independently. The tasks are presented in a way that is easy for preschoolers to understand, and preschoolers are given clear instructions and feedback.

By providing individual work systems, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers develop essential independence and organizational skills. The individual work systems also provide a sense of structure and predictability, which helps preschoolers feel more secure and reduces anxiety.


Structured Teaching Strategies

The structured teaching method uses a range of structured teaching strategies to help preschoolers learn. These strategies include task analysis, visual schedules, and reinforcement.

Task analysis involves breaking down complex skills into smaller, more manageable steps. Each step is taught systematically, and preschoolers are taught to master each step before moving on to the next. This helps preschoolers develop essential skills in a structured and systematic way.

Visual schedules are used to provide preschoolers with a clear understanding of their daily routines. Visual schedules are designed to be highly visual and include pictures or symbols that represent each activity. This helps preschoolers understand their daily routines and reduces anxiety by providing a sense of structure and predictability.

Reinforcement is used to encourage and reward preschoolers for their efforts. Positive reinforcement is used to reward desirable behaviour, such as completing a task independently or following instructions. Negative reinforcement is used to discourage undesirable behaviour, such as not completing a task or engaging in disruptive behaviour.

By using a range of structured teaching strategies, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers develop essential skills in a structured and systematic way. These strategies provide a sense of structure and predictability, which helps preschoolers feel more secure and reduces anxiety. The use of reinforcement also helps to motivate preschoolers and encourages them to engage in desirable behaviour.


Benefits of the Structured Teaching Method

The structured teaching method has many benefits for preschoolers, including improved academic performance, increased independence, improved social skills, reduced anxiety, and increased motivation.

One of the key benefits of the structured teaching method is improved academic performance. By providing a highly structured and systematic approach to learning, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers develop essential academic skills in a way that is easy to understand and remember.

Another benefit of the structured teaching method is increased independence. By providing individual work systems and teaching preschoolers essential organizational and independence skills, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers become more independent and self-sufficient.

The structured teaching method also helps preschoolers develop improved social skills. By providing a highly structured and predictable environment, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers feel more secure and reduces anxiety. This, in turn, helps preschoolers feel more confident and better able to engage with others.

Reduced anxiety is another benefit of the structured teaching method. By providing a highly structured and predictable environment, the structured teaching method helps preschoolers feel more secure and reduces anxiety. This can be particularly beneficial for preschoolers who may struggle with anxiety or other emotional challenges.

Finally, the structured teaching method helps to increase motivation. By providing a sense of structure and predictability, and by using reinforcement to encourage and reward desirable behaviour, the structured teaching method helps to motivate preschoolers and encourages them to engage in learning activities.


Implementing the Structured Teaching Method

Implementing the structured teaching method requires a significant amount of planning and preparation. Educators must create individual work systems, develop lesson plans, and implement a range of structured teaching strategies. Here are some key steps to implementing the structured teaching method effectively:

Step 1: Establish a Structured Environment

The first step in implementing the structured teaching method is to establish a structured environment. This means creating a classroom environment that is highly structured, predictable, and organised. Educators should create a visual schedule that outlines the daily routine, provide clear expectations for behaviour, and establish a set of classroom rules that are easy to understand and remember.

Step 2: Develop Individual Work Systems

The next step is to develop individual work systems for each preschooler. Individual work systems are personalised systems that provide preschoolers with clear instructions for completing tasks and activities independently. These systems are essential for developing independence and organisational skills.

Step 3: Plan and Implement Structured Teaching Strategies

The third step is to plan and implement a range of structured teaching strategies. These strategies may include task analysis, visual supports, and reinforcement. Task analysis involves breaking tasks down into small, manageable steps, while visual supports provide preschoolers with visual cues to help them remember important information. Reinforcement involves providing rewards or positive feedback to encourage desirable behaviour.

Step 4: Monitor Progress and Adjust as Necessary

The final step is to monitor progress and adjust the structured teaching approach as necessary. Educators should regularly evaluate preschoolers’ progress and make adjustments to individual work systems, lesson plans, and teaching strategies as needed.

Implementing the structured teaching method effectively requires a significant amount of time, effort, and planning. However, by providing a highly structured and predictable learning environment, individualised instruction, and a range of structured teaching strategies, educators can help preschoolers develop essential skills in a way that is easy to understand and remember.

Overall, the structured teaching method is a valuable tool for early childhood educators. Its focus on structure, predictability, and individualised instruction helps preschoolers develop essential skills in a way that is easy to understand and remember. By working closely with parents, teachers, and other professionals, educators can provide a highly effective approach to early childhood education that meets the unique needs of each preschooler.