Teaching can be reduced to several tasks. The one that is most obvious on a day-to-day basis is how they deliver their teaching material. Presenting subject matter often depends on the topic at hand, the resources available, the time alloted for the lesson, and the interest level expected of the student. When a teacher takes all of this information into account, they can make a good choice as to the best way to present the material. Lectures are instructor-centered forms of instruction that often get a bad rap. However, it is important to realize that lectures come in many different forms, some more effective than others. The least effective form of lecture involves a teacher reading from notes or the text. Students quickly lose interest and typically little is learned from the experience. However, dynamic teachers often lecture in a more free form manner, including students and providing humorous or insightful information throughout. A third form of lecture includes multimedia. In a whole group discussion the instructor and the students share the focus of the lesson. Typically a teacher presents information through questions and answers, insuring that the students are involved in learning. Teachers can retain control while checking on student learning throughout the lesson.

Methods for presenting subject matter

Role play involves getting the students to take on different roles as they explore and learn about the topic at hand. For example, in a foreign language class, students might take on the role of different speakers and use dialogues to help learn the language. It is important that the teacher has a firm plan for including and assessing the students based on their role playing. Simulations are slightly different than role playing in that students become involved in a situation and have to use what they have learned and their own intellect to work through the simulation. For example, a government simulation might have the students create a model legislature where they have to create and pass legislation. These have a great ability to be interest building but also require the teacher to make clear how each student will be assessed for their participation. Teachers can use this method to help guide student learning as they use the internet or a particular software program to learn information for the lesson. For example, a student might complete an online scavenger hunt. This requires a teacher to have come up with sites and questions for the student to answer. Multimedia methods of presentation include slide shows, movies, and PowerPoint presentations. When creating presentations, it's important to keep notes concise and to the point while including interesting and relevant images. If done well, a presentation can be very interesting and effective for student learning. Movies present their own set of problems and concerns but can be extremely effective when teaching certain subjects. Check out this article on the pros and cons of using movies for further information. Some topics lend themselves well for individual classroom reading time. For example, if students are studying a short story, a teacher might have them read in class and then stop them after a certain time to ask questions and check understanding.