Tag Archives: classroom advice

Can Meaningful Gestures Help STEM Students Learn Better?

The right kind of gesture helps students understand physical space better. And students who can think well about space do better in STEM classes. Continue reading



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Improving the Syllabus: Surprising Benefits of Jumbling

Jumbling practice problem topics together helps students learn more than organizing practice problems by topic. Continue reading



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When Homework Is (and Isn’t) Genuinely Helpful

The question “does homework help students learn” is too big a question. We need to narrow it down. What age student are we discussing? What kind of homework are they doing? What discipline are they studying? Continue reading



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Benefiting from Retrieval Practice: Get the Timing Just Right

Retrieval practice is an excellent study strategy for students more than 24 hours ahead of a test. However, within that 24 hour window, teachers and students should focus more on connecting ideas rather than recalling them. Continue reading



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Enhance Memory by Saying Important Words Aloud

You’d like to remember a list of words better? Here’s a simple trick: read them out loud to yourself. Continue reading



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Highlighting Retrieval Practice

The Effortful Educator describes his fun system for using highlighters during retrieval practice. He teaches AP Psychology in high school, but I suspect this system could be easily used with younger students as well. EE’s lesson plan stands out for two



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Advice for College Students

This brief (and admirably clear) article offers guidance to college students on the study strategies that have research support — and, helpfully, those that don’t. The authors offer a few sources to verify their claims, explain why some counter-intuitive strategies work



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Welcome to “the Messiness”

In a recent interview on this blog, Dr. Pooja K. Agarwal spoke about the benefits of retrieval practice: a study technique that–in her words–focuses on pulling information OUT of students’ brains rather than getting it back IN. For example: if I



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Now Even the New York Times Has It Wrong

Here’s a hypothetical situation: Let’s say that psychology researchers clearly demonstrate that retrieval practice helps students form long-term memories better than rereading the textbook does. However, despite this clear evidence, these researchers nonetheless emphatically recommend that students avoid retrieval practice



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Good News about Concept Mapping

This meta-analysis, which looks at studies including almost 12,000 students, concludes that creating concept maps does indeed promote learning. Specifically, it’s better than simply looking at concept maps, or listening to lectures, or participating in discussions, or even writing summaries. The



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