Teaching strategies – peanut butter or steak?

Peanut Butter teaching strategiesTeaching Strategies – Peanut Butter V Steak

Powerful teaching strategies are like peanut butter, whether you are teaching or relief teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I love peanut butter. Crunchy is my favourite but I also like smooth. I have it on snacks, lunches, evening munchies. But there is one problem…

I would never dream of having peanut butter for dinner. There is just not enough nutrition.

I also love my peanut butter teaching strategies. I use these often when relief teaching. These powerful teaching strategies are perfect for all teaching. especially relief teaching. You dip in for a quick and yummy learning activity. Kids love them. Most teachers love them and they are great little learning episodes.

My peanut butter lessons

These are only a small sample.

Some teaching strategies are like peanut butter

An unboring mathematics lesson is a brilliant quick lesson to develop one specific skill.

Teaching Spelling Demons these are great activities but they have a small focus. However, if you extend the skills into a comprehensive spelling unit, you might get it into a steak burger meal.

Number Facts Strategies that Work are brilliant everyday activities. I probably use this resource more than any other but it is really a math warm up.

However, these powerful teaching strategies are not the main meal.


That requires steak. (My apologies to vegetarians).

I love steak too.

Steak meals are substantial.  It is a meal you can get your teeth into.

A couple of days without steak, and I start spicing up the leather on my wallet.

Some times relief teaching days lack steak meals. Teaching needs steak!

Steak lessons are the bulk builders. Good teaching needs to build bulk!

My steak lessons

This is but a small sample.

steak teaching strategiesWalking with Dinosaurs contains depth. These lessons are best spread over a few days or at the very least, make up a good portion of your relief teaching day. I have used them in both ways.

Mathematics strategies – Chunking. This is one of the most powerful math teaching strategies for improving mental math skills.

Maths Games for Learning. Some might disagree because we often think of games as low-level learning activities. But I have used these Maths Games a lot and the comprehensive nature of student activity makes me put this into the steak category.

Teaching too many peanut butter lessons will lead to skinny kids.

Balance the diet with your powerful teaching strategies

When you are relief teaching, you need to be a good cook. You need a small range of side dishes but the steak is the hero.

Every student wants their steaks cooked slightly differently but in essence they get the same meal.

So when you are relief teaching, you really must be teaching for a balanced diet.

Make some of your powerful teaching strategies target peanut butter activities and some target steak!

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(4) comments

Super Teacher

I couldn’t agree more with your assessment about teaching. It definitely has be a mix of both peanut butter teaching and steak teaching. Understandably most sessions should revolve around the stake teaching, but I think if we can implement say 20 to 30 percent of peanut butter teaching during the semester, the children will actually learn better and more.


    You are absolutely correct. Like all diets, you must have a balanced teaching load.

Valeria Wilson

I remember before my first classroom my stomach was full of butterflies but I was so excited as well for all the things I had planned to teach my students. Then reality set in and at some point I just forgot why I started teaching in the first place. Teaching was merely a job that paid the bills and it was no longer something that made me happy or put butterflies in my stomach. I’ve been teaching kids the same way I’ve been teaching for many years now and I could see now that after a couple of years of teaching I never gave my kids the peanut butter. Well, that’s enough of my story. I just wanted to say that this reminded me of why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place.


Thanks for you comments Valeria. I can completely empathize.

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