Increase the Permanence of Student Learning by Using The 3 Kings: Feed
May 6, 2011 Learning Methodology 1963 Views
For students to remember and be able to retrieve the information you are covering it's essential that your lesson plans always include time for these: feedback, processing and repetition. If you don't include these 3 techniques your lessons are destined to be quickly forgotten. Ironically, as teachers are increasingly pressured to increase student achievement on test scores, the amount of time spent of these 3 kings of learning is lessening.
Research clearly indicates the importance of feedback, processing and repetition in the learning and retrieval process. Every chunk of material that you cover needs some type of processing activity. Students also need feedback on how well they do on this processing. Yet teachers feel so driven to complete the required content that they often feel they don't have time to do these things in class. Processing is often done as homework. There's nothing wrong with that. But feedback, processing and repetition must also happen every day in your classroom.
When I taught AP U.S. history, I was always trying to cover as much content as possible. Several times, with a minute or two left in the period, I would say, "Oh, I just want to cover this one more thing." Since all I had time to do was say the information with no processing, I should have just saved my breath. That information just isn't going to stick in kids' heads. Their minds are already out in the hall where their friends are waiting.
So, how can you fit the 3 kings into your lesson plans? Let's look at each one separately.
Feedback: Every student in your class needs individual feedback about every 20 minutes. How can one teacher accomplish this? It becomes easier when you realize that the feedback doesn't have to come from you. If students are doing a worksheet to practice a new skill, you can have the answer sheet on your desk. When students finish they can come up and check their own papers. Then if they missed something and have a question you are right there to answer it. You can also have students work in pairs. They can check each other's work. I think individual white boards are very helpful for feedback. If you have learned a new skill or you want to check understanding, have each student write their answer and hold up their boards. You can immediately see who understands the concept and who needs more help.
Processing: Processing involves manipulating the information in some way. Ask students to summarize the 3 main points of the lesson in writing. Have students discuss in pairs what they feel is the most important concept covered during the period. Create a story problem quiz that asks the student to apply to the information in a new situation. Processing involves talking, writing, or thinking about the information.
Repetition: There are too many things covered in your class to practice repetition with everything. Pick out the key concepts; what the students must understand. Use the 10-24-7 strategy for repetition. Repeat the information about 10 minutes after you discuss it the first time. Then go over it again the next day. Finally, bring it up again after a week. This reinforces to the brain that this information needs to be permanently stored.
When you are creating your lessons remember that it's better to cover less material and to cover it using the 3 kings, than it is to try to do more and not process it properly. Your student achievement scores will naturally increase because students will recall much more of what they have learned.