This post is a departure from the normal topics of my blog..a little lighter material with a call for audience participation. I know that when I’m teaching, I find there are a few phrases I say more than others. Most revolve around assessment of learning and student cognition. Below, I’ve listed and described the phrases I use most often. I would love for you to comment with a phrase or two that you find yourself repeating when instructing in your classroom. I think the results here could be quite interesting and informative.
“If the test is the first time you think about/with this material, we’re both probably going to fail.”
“Don’t let the final assessment be the moment you find out you don’t understand the material.”
When discussing study/practice habits with my students, I constantly say this to convey that you have to put in effort to learn/remember. Student intuition and habits usually dictate that they will either reread or highlight their notes and they believe that is effective studying. The above sentences are my attempt to communicate to my students they should, prior to the assessment, use effective and efficient learning strategies (retrieval practice and spaced practice) in order to assess their learning so they can focus attention on material they don’t understand.
“Tell me everything you know.”
I say this constantly when my students are working on open-ended questions. Frequently, students become stuck or believe the don’t fully know how to answer the questions. By asking students to brainstorm and tell me everything they know about the topic, often times they will prime memories of their initial learning of material and be able to more completely answer the questions.
“Guessing and getting an answer correct does not mean you know the information.”
This one seems quite obvious to me, but I’m quite certain my students complete a quick review, see they earned full marks, and assume they know all of the material. Occasionally, I will have my students look back at the questions and their answers to have them consider the answers they chose as a guess. Having them do this quick activity can alert them to information they thought they knew because of the pretty 100 on their paper, but in reality they don’t really know. This assessment of learning can alert students to information they don’t really know and, hopefully, steer them in the right direction when it’s time to prepare for another assignment or assessment.
Certainly, there are other phrases I repeat from time to time…I guess I should ask my classes. I’m sure they would love the chance to mimic me with my own words. Ok…so maybe I won’t ask them. 🙂
Now it’s your turn. What phrases do you find yourself constantly repeating in your classroom?