Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What Works In Teaching

Art, Artwork, Colorful, Lines, Blue  The other day, I came across this great article from the government which summarizes nine ways to improve student learning.  Some of the nine we've seen before if you follow Josh Fisher or the Learning Scientists.  Some you may never have seen before.

1.  Space learning over time.  This includes reviewing key concepts several weeks to several months later so students retain the material better.

2. Weave worked examples complete with solutions among the problems so they can refer to examples while trying to solve new problems on their own.

3. Combine illustrations or graphical representations of key processes with verbal descriptions.

4. Create a connection between abstract and concrete representations of the concept.

5. Integrate more quizzes to help promote learning and use pre-questions when introducing new material.  In addition, use quizzes to expose students to already taught material.

6. Teach students to allocate study time and allocate the material to increase student learning.  In addition, teach students to use the results of the quizzes to determine what to study.

7. It is recommended that both teachers use deep-level questions which require students to respond with explanations that support deep learning.

Numbers five and six actually have two interrelated parts but still it works out to 9 different suggestions.  All of these help students learn the material better and do well.  I like the part about helping students analyze their own quiz and test results to determine what areas they need to work on.

In addition, this site provides a 63 page guide on Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning with some very good ideas and information to implement these suggestions in your classroom.  Furthermore, the guide offers possible roadblocks and solutions for each roadblock for each suggestion along with a checklist for implementing each suggestion.

I have already downloaded this guide which I plan to read over the holidays. I like a lot of the suggestions I've seen in it.  Let me know what you think.

Sometimes I think that as teachers we spend so much time trying to find the best ways to work with our students