Promoting Metacognition with Retrieval Practice in Five Steps

Let me put all the cards out on the table: I am a big believer in using researched/proven learning strategies to improve retention of classroom material. I have applied strategies in my high school Advanced Placement Psychology classes and seen notable improvements in three areas: Test scores Study habits Student’s understanding of their learning Improvement … Continue reading Promoting Metacognition with Retrieval Practice in Five Steps

To the Student Sleeping in My Class

I’m not going to lower the standard.  You will be expected to finish everything your classmates complete; with the same deadlines and with the same grading scale.  When they’re graded for collaborative work, you’ll be expected to work within your group and complete that material, too.  The culminating project at the end of the semester? … Continue reading To the Student Sleeping in My Class

The Teaching Method Doesn’t Define the Classroom

Teacher A:  Tell me about your class. Me:  Well, I use mainly direct instruction and really focus on learning strategies to help students retain information. I immediately feel judged.  As teaching methods go, I increasingly find myself in the minority.  I’m “old-school”.  My desks are in rows.  For the most part, I lecture.  There’s almost … Continue reading The Teaching Method Doesn’t Define the Classroom

Dual Coding in the Classroom

Let me begin by saying that dual coding, or at least my initial understanding of this learning strategy, is completely foreign to me.  I am the antithesis of creative.  While others were playing with action figures and creating distant galaxies to be conquered in their mind, I was outside playing some sport.  Add to this … Continue reading Dual Coding in the Classroom

Retrieval Practice in the High School Classroom

One of the largest gaps in my students’ learning that I encounter regularly is a lack of study/learning skills.  I am extremely fortunate to teach at a school that has high expectations for all and produces some amazing kids.  About 90% of each graduating class attends a 2 or 4 year college/university every year with … Continue reading Retrieval Practice in the High School Classroom

Are Our Teaching Methods Hindering Our Learners?

  As I begin a new semester, part of the unwritten curriculum that I attempt to instill in my students is learning strategies.  So often, my Advanced Placement students graduate, attend college, and are quickly met with their inability to properly study.  I believe they are great a memorization, and therefore coast through high school. … Continue reading Are Our Teaching Methods Hindering Our Learners?

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss — It’s Bias

*The following article first appeared as a guest post on The Learning Scientists blog on January 3, 2017.  As schools begin another term, some teachers will have new classes with new students; a fresh start and a blank canvas to create a masterpiece...or not. The first few days of class are key to establishing rapport with students and … Continue reading Ignorance Isn’t Bliss — It’s Bias

Potential Positive and Negative Effects of Similarities in the Classroom

One of the most important aspects of teaching is the relationships formed with the students.  The saying “students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” certainly rings true.  Even now, as I think back to the teachers who most impacted my life, I don’t think about a great lesson … Continue reading Potential Positive and Negative Effects of Similarities in the Classroom