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Do We Throw Traditional Teaching Methods Out the Door?

Posted on : 01-10-2009 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : General



Inevitably, when I am speaking with someone about using technology in the classroom, I will be confronted with the question, “What is wrong with using books and paper and pencils to teach reading and writing and math like we always have?”  To which I respond, “Nothing.”   I firmly believe that traditional teaching methods should not be thrown out the door completely in lieu of teaching with technology.   However, I also believe that technology is the language of today’s students and that a blend of old and new instructional methods will reach a wider range of learners with unique skills, needs, and interests.


One of the ways I blended old and new teaching methods in my classroom was by using internet activities as a springboard for hands- on traditional classroom activities.  During our study of the comprehension skill Cause and Effect, we would complete an online cause and effect activity from StarrMatica as a whole class. The activity presents eight picture cards and then highlights one specific card.  The students are asked to examine the other pictures in the set to find the card that shows the cause or effect of the highlighted picture.  In one example, a chewed up shoe is highlighted, and the students need to identify the dog picture card as the cause.  (If you are not a StarrMatica member, visit http://www.starrmatica.com and sign up for a free trial to view the activity.  It is titled “Guided Practice” in the “Learn” section of the Cause and Effect lesson.)  

 Cause and Effect Activity Screen Shot

This website could also be used as your whole class cause and effect example with words instead of pictures:



Once we completed the online activity as a whole class, my students created their own cause and effect games by drawing pictures on index cards.  Then, they were paired to play matching and concentration games with their newly created cards. 


What are your thoughts about blending old and new instructional methods?  Do you incorporate technology in this way in your classroom?