Teaching & Learning Strategies, Concepts, and Terms That Every Teacher Must Know: Letter O

To be considered a competent educator, there are almost 2000 strategies, concepts, and terms that you must know. However, since teachers wear so many hats, who has the time to learn them all? Don’t worry; we have you covered. In this series, we will discuss all the teaching and learning strategies, concepts, and terms that you need to know to be considered an effective educator. There are over 70 articles in this series, so pace yourself. We recommend reading one piece per weekday, which will allow you to complete the series in three to four months. We hope you enjoy it.

Click here to read all the articles in this series.

Object Concept The relationship between the self, others, and an object. During infancy, the child will only perceive the object in terms of what they can do to it. As they age, objects begin to have greater importance in relation to other objects. Eventually, objects become a tool to measure spatial relationships and the stability of the world.

Object Permanence The understanding that objects still exist even when they are not visually available. Object permanence typically develops around twelve months of age in neurotypical children.

Observation Records Daily notes, anecdotes, and detailed running records documenting observations made of a student.

Observational Learning According to Bandura, this process has four stages: (1) attentional phase, in which students turn their attention to a model; (2) retention phase, in which students closely observe the model and then practice behavior; (3) reproduction phase, in which students try to replicate the model’s behavior; (4) motivational phase, in which students continue the learned behavior if it is effectively reinforced.

Online Courses Not every student has the luxury of being able to afford to live on campus and attend college full-time.  Nor, in today’s flexible climate with people still chasing the American dream, are college rosters comprised solely of recent high school graduates.  In many situations, therefore, online education is an ideal opportunity.  Online colleges offer flexible schedules to accommodate other responsibilities and commitments, the lower overall cost to students, and the ability to telecommute from wherever you are to whatever institution in which you wish to enroll.  With online educational portals such as BlackBoard, Moodle, and Google Classroom, it is easy to receive instruction, turn in work, and collaborate with the professor and other students through a digital medium.

Onset The initial part of a word before the vowel.

Onset The part of a syllable including a single consonant, consonant blend, and consonant digraph, which comes before the first vowel of the syllable.

Open Admissions An institutions policy of giving admission to students who have obtained a high school diploma, irrespective of their grades or test scores, until enrollment is at maximum capacity.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Are educational materials that are available online without any copyright restriction. These are a powerful learning tool for every student, but perhaps most especially for those students in cash-strapped school districts.

Open Enrollment Another school model that promotes the concept of school choice is open enrollment, enabling students to attend any public school that has vacancies. Minnesota was the first state to introduce the concept of open enrollment in 1988 and was closely followed by some additional states. Today, the majority of American states have legislation allowing open enrollment. If school choice is allowed to proceed along its current trajectory, the neighborhood school could very well become a model of the past or at least be radically altered.

Open Word Sorting A word grouping technique that allows the organizer to determine and engage with a range of different classifications.

Open-Source Software Refers to software that is usually free of charge to the public, with the source code available for modification and use.

Operant Conditioning A process which involves using pleasant or unpleasant outcomes to control conduct and its frequency.

Opportunity Gap Illustrates the ways that race, SES, familial situations, or other variables work in concert to facilitate anti-intellectual sentiments and behaviors in certain segments of students. This in turns leads to low academic and skills attainment which can perpetuate the cycle of generational poverty that caused the opportunity gap in the first place. It truly can become a never-ending cycle that affects generations.

Oppressed Groups Groups of people that have little to no societal power, are subservient to another group or are silenced. Oppressed groups may include marginalized people.

Oral History Project A long-term project in which students research the personal histories of an individual of their choice, conduct interviews of the person, and create a presentation which includes artifacts, a feature article, a personal memoir, and a photograph.

Oral Interaction An act of communication and a foundational social skill which includes the ability to initiate dialogue, change topics during the conversation, take turns, know Appropriate to say in the context, speak directly, convey relevant information, and so on.

Orbitofrontal Cortex The portion of the brain that connects the brainstem, the limbic system, and the frontal cortex. This part of the brain is critical to executive function.

Organization A way to commit objects and events to memory. In order to organize information, you must group stimuli into meaningful clusters which aid in the process of recollection. The specific strategies used to organize information will vary at different ages.

Orientation An institution’s formal process of welcoming admitted students to campus and giving them an education on the information and policies that they will need to be successful from day one. It is usually a half day or full day event.

Orthography The system for the standard use of symbols for writing in a language; the conventional rules of spelling and writing in a language.

Outlaw Words Words that do not conform to the usual conventions of pronunciation.

Outlining The hierarchical representation of the main points in a given material or text.

Out-of-level Testing The process of assessing children at one grade level with measures designed to assess children of another grade level.

Overexcitability Dabrowski’s theory that explains giftedness as being related to one of the emotional sensitivity areas (intellectual, imaginational, sensual, emotional, and psychomotor).

Overextensions The application of a word to a new object whose label is unknown based on common traits between the two objects.

Overlapping The teacher’s ability to respond to interruptions or problems in student behavior all the while continuing a lesson.

Overt Aggression Aggressive actions such as pushing, shoving, or throwing objects when facing frustration. Overt aggression tends to be more common in boys.

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