How to Find More Classroom Time for New Learning

More classroom time can be devoted to introducing new material when the teacher is not required to continually reteach old skills and concepts. We love how this short Edutopia video explains practice testing. (HINT: It’s not the typical kind of testing!)

Low-stakes testing is a form of retrieval practice, a strategy that boosts long-term retention much more effectively than other common methods, like massed practice or cramming. When students make the effort to call to mind what they’ve learned and are given multiple opportunities to do so, their long-term retention soars. And, this type of practice has many other benefits:

  • Reduces test anxiety by giving students the chance to show what they know without being penalized for errors.
  • Provides opportunities for meaningful feedback, allowing students to correct errors and shore up weaknesses in their thinking.
  • Uncovers learning gaps and misconceptions; this helps the teacher plan future instruction.
  • Increases students’ metacognition—their awareness of what they know and don’t know.

Retrieval practice does not create more work for the teacher and does not require changes in the way material is taught. What’s more, it can take just minutes a day! Find out how the Simple Solutions Approach makes it easy to incorporate retrieval practice into your daily routine

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Post Author: Nancy Tondy

Nancy is a former elementary teacher and gifted intervention specialist. She joined Simple Solutions in 2005 as co-author of the original English Grammar & Writing Mechanics series, and today, she manages our Writing Team. Outside of work, Nancy enjoys cooking, movies, biking, and travel.

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