Monthly Archives: August 2018

Improve Your Syllabus & Lesson Plan With “Prior Knowledge”

By explicitly including prior knowledge in our lesson plans, we can help students learn new material more effective. And, this effect might explain the syllabus-level benefits of spreading practice out over time: the “spacing effect.” Continue reading



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Play More Chess, Get More Smarts?

Some research suggests that general cognitive training — through chess, or music lessons — might help students learn a broad array of academic disciplines. However, research that controls for placebo effects discounts that finding. Almost certainly, students must learn each particular skill by practicing it. Continue reading



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Resources to Get Started with “Embodied Cognition”:

The field of embodied cognition has gotten increasing attention in recent years. The short version is: because our brains are attached to our bodies — in fact, our brains are a part of our bodies — bodies can help brains



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Let’s Get Practical: When Should Students Self-Test?

When should students self-test for maximum learning? Recent research suggests that retrieval practice timing matters less than retrieval practice doing. That is: students can self test at the end of a textbook section, or an the end of a chapter; both techniques help them learn. For even better memories, do both! Continue reading



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Attack of the Teenage Brain!: Understanding and Supporting the Weird and Wonderful Adolescent Learner by John Medina

John Medina, developmental molecular biologist and New York Times best-selling author, has written a book about how to parent and teach teenagers in light of what we know about adolescent social, cognitive, and neural development.  In Attack of the Teenage



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