What Is the Best Item Type and Delivery Method for Retrieval Practice?

That’s a trick question! Numerous item types—multiple choice, matching, fill-in, short answer, and extended response—work well. Furthermore, retrieval practice can be applied in a variety of ways, including flashcards, academic puzzles, games, mixed review sheets (like these), and even graphic organizers. Here are some of my favorite item types. Tell a three-sentence story. My friends […]

Meet Reading Comprehension Goals for Students in First Grade

The ability to read impacts all aspects of life, but above all, reading is essential for learning. That’s why schools and districts all over the country set rigorous reading proficiency goals for students in the primary grades. From preschool through third grade, children are learning to read; by fourth grade, they are reading to learn, […]

Your Students, Your Classroom, and You!

I’ve been reading and collecting education research studies and reports about all kinds of topics, such as improving reading comprehension, raising math scores, teaching with games, best practices for preschool learning, and so on. But these many studies have limitations; that’s why the researchers usually call for replications and further studies. One thing researchers consider […]

Meet Reading Comprehension Goals for Students in Preschool and Kindergarten

The ability to read impacts all aspects of life, but above all, reading is essential for learning. That’s why schools and districts all over the country set rigorous reading proficiency goals for even the very youngest students. From preschool through third grade, children are learning to read; by fourth grade, they are reading to learn, […]

Something Free for Your Class This Year

Hey there, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade teachers! School starts soon, and if you’re like a lot of my friends, you’re looking for ways to “do more with less.” Okay, I’m not a fan of that euphemism either. Too often, teachers are told “there is no budget” for the high-quality instructional materials they need. Yet, […]

Mastering Mathematics with 21st Century Strategies

Retrieval practice, spaced practice, and interleaved practice are not new. Plenty of cognitive scientists and researchers have endorsed them, based on more than 100 years of research. Even so, these beneficial strategies have not been widely implemented in most elementary school classrooms. Why, then, do we call them 21st Century Strategies? Today, we understand the […]

Why Should Preschoolers Use Retrieval Practice?

Why Should Preschoolers Use Retrieval Practice? In many ways, preschoolers are just like all other learners. They acquire skills incrementally, build upon prior knowledge, and solve problems through trial-and-error. They rely on memory for learning. Like other learners, preschoolers benefit from a strategy called retrieval practice. Retrieval practice is calling to mind (retrieving) what has […]

Practice is Practice, Right?

Part 3: Help Students Understand the Benefits of Distributed Practice and Retrieval Practice In the last two blogs, we looked at distributed practice and retrieval practice—and why combining them is an effective way to increase long-term retention. Use this lesson to explain the strategies and help your students use them more. Just to review, retrieval […]

Retrieval Practice

Practice is Practice, Right?

Part 2: What’s the difference between distributed practice and retrieval practice? Like distributed practice, retrieval practice is a strategy. It involves getting students to remember (retrieve) what they’ve learned. Putting forth some effort and really thinking about a concept reinforces it and makes it easier to retrieve in the future. Think about the kinds of […]

practice

Practice is Practice, Right?

Part 1: Distributed Practice Practice is Practice, Right? Not really. There are so many kinds of practice—massed practice, distributed practice, retrieval practice, and interleaved practice, to name a few. And, each corresponds to a specific educational goal. Let’s sort them out. Let’s start with distributed practice, also known as spaced learning, and sometimes, spiraling. It’s […]