Tag Archives: classroom advice

Handwritten Notes or Laptop Notes: A Skeptic Converted?

Here’s a practical question: should our students take notes by hand, or on laptops? If we were confident that one strategy or the other produced more learning – factual learning, conceptual learning, ENDURING learning – then we could give our



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged | 3 Comments

Too Good to Be True? “Even Short Nature Walks Improve Cognition”?

Good news makes me nervous. More precisely: if I want to believe a research finding, I become very suspicious of it. After all: it’s easy to fool me when I want to be fooled. Specifically: I’m an outdoors guy. I’ve worked at



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Working Memory: Make it Bigger, or Use it Better?

Cognitive science has LOTS of good news for teachers. Can we help students remember ideas and skills better? Yes, we can! (Check out retrieval practice and other desirable difficulties). Can we promote students’ attention? Yes, we can! (Posner and Rothbart’s



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Do Classroom Decorations Distract Students? A Story in 4 Parts…

Teacher training programs often encourage us to brighten our classrooms with lively, colorful, personal, and uplifting stuff: Inspirational posters. Students’ art work. Anchor charts. Word walls. You know the look. We certainly hope that these decorations invite our students in



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Why Time is a Teacher’s Greatest Commodity…and What to Do When You Don’t Have Enough of It

Today’s guest post is by Jim Heal, Director of New Initiatives, and Rebekah Berlin, Senior Program Director at Deans for Impact. Long-time readers know how much I respect the work that Deans for Impact does. Their Resources — clear, brief,



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Best Kind of Practice for Students Depends on the Learning Goal

In some ways, teaching ought to be straightforward. Teachers introduce new material (by some method or another), and we have our students practice (by some method or another). Result: THEY (should) LEARN. Alas, both classroom experience and psychology/neuroscience research suggest



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Best Way to Take Class Notes

Teachers often ask me: “how should my students take notes?” That question typically springs from a heated debate. Despite all the enthusiasm for academic technology, many teachers insist on hand-written notes. (Long-time readers know: I have a provocative opinion on



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Teachers’ Gestures Can Help Students Learn

Over the years, I’ve written about the importance of “embodied cognition.” In other words: we know with our brains, and we know with and through our bodies. Scholars such as Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow and Dr. Sian Beilock have done splendid and



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Handwriting Improves Learning, Right?

Here’s a good rule for research: if you believe something, look for research that contradicts your belief. So, if you think that retrieval practice helps students learn, see if you can find research showing the opposite. If you disapprove of



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Let’s Get Practical: What Works Best in the Classroom?

At times, this blog explores big-picture hypotheticals — the “what if” questions that can inspire researchers and teachers. And, at times, we just want practical information. Teachers are busy folks. We simply want to know: what works? What really helps my



Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment