Hi everyone and welcome to the effective teaching podcast. Today, we're going to continue our mini-series looking at applying how students learn. I'm super excited about it. We up to this is our third part in this series. Can you remember the previous two episodes? What were the topics? And how did we apply them?
I'm gonna check your memory again at the end of this episode because I want to try and implement a little bit about what we've been learning. But for now, let's dive into the concept that we're looking at today, which is spaced learning. Now, many of you will be familiar with the idea of spaced repetition I've purposely however, used space learning instead not because it's overly different in terms of what we are talking about anything like that but because I think repetition can actually be a bit misleading, You're not just repeating the same things over and over again.
You're not re-teaching stuff to your students but you are going back to a concept or an idea the skill that you're trying to teach them and you're asking the students to recall this information or to practise it themselves, to remember it. And it's basically I you probably call it based recall if you like rather than space learning.
It's it's that kind of concept. Now, by spacing out student recall of the concepts and ideas that we're developing, what we're doing is we're creating neural pathways that are needed for the students to recall. Remember the information later. So spacing out. The recall really enables the concept to be stored more permanently in long-term memory.
And this then builds the highways that are needed. You know, how we talked about memory being collections of neurones, and then you've got this pathways in your pathways that need to be developed. You're creating stronger thicker pathways from that long-term memory to your recoil to your working memory. You're building those and you solidifying them more and more by doing this spaced recall, because it means basically, you're telling your brain, this is important, don't forget it.
And so, every week, every couple of weeks they're trying to get in the students to recall this information to go out. I need that pathway still, I need that pathway. I need it stronger. I'm using it all the time, but how do we space things out? If we want our students to remember things in six months or a year how many times?
And when do we need them to recall? This information There is actually a general principle that can be used. And this is where students recall things, when 10% of the time has passed compared to how long you want them to recall things. So, for example, if you want your students to remember things for about 200 days, then you get them to recall it every 20 days Now that's kind of a general principle personally.
I like to slowly spread out the idea of recall. So I will get students to recall our last lesson every lesson. And then once a week I'll ask them to recall what we did last week and then every four weeks what they can recall from the last term that we all maybe the term that we've done so far.
And at the end of term, I want them to remember everything that we've learnt so far that year, maybe even some stuff from last year. That's important what we're doing in class at the moment. So I will also try to intersperse every four weeks or so what they can recall from last term or the term before that even and I might pick a specific topic that they have learnt already or something similar.
And just get them to recall stuff often using like a brain dump or something to recall things. And the important thing here is to make sure that the strategies you're using aren't necessarily always taking a long time, Sometimes it's good to take a strategy, you know. He's going to take you the whole lesson to recall.
A whole bunch of information. You want to work on things with that information as well. That's alright. But what we want to do with this whole idea of space recall is constantly be building in small amounts of recall that they're constantly doing. So I find it really quick and easy to do this kind of recall with things like brain damage which we talked about in a previous episode.
If you miss that, I think it was the first one of these, these mini-series on how applying how students learn. So, go back to, I think it was a recall, and you can have a look at what's say, brain dump sound how to use them. You can also use a quick quiz if you want to that has questions that relate to multiple different topics, that's also really fast and effective.
You can even just ask for three things. I remember from last term each week and telling them it has to be different from their last three things that they've done, if that makes sense. So each week, you're gonna ask them, you know, write down three things, wherever from last term.
Now, the week later, I want another three things. Different to the ones you've already remembered. And so that forces them to remember what they already have said. But also, to remember more things from last term, I don't think that planning and detailing, this meticulously is really needed. I mean, you could, if you wanted to go through and make sure that you're really hitting all the different topics and points that you've covered over the term over the year over the semester Instead.
What I would like to do is just to simply plan to have them recall often. And to ensure that these are students to recall all the learning that you want them to be able to remember. So if you think forward for your students learning, I really focus on recalling.
The key elements that really underpin. A lot of the greater learning that's happening in a unit or some things from past years, that relate to what they're learning. Now, you want them to recall all kinds of stuff. If you're preparing them for an exam, then you're really looking at preparing them to recall everything that you've been teaching them.
But again, it doesn't require you to plan that out in a lot of detail, just constantly be putting in lots of recall and remember to make sure it's mixed up and covering things and you'll end up covering everything anyway because you really are going to be looking at doing recall.
Pretty much every lesson for a short period of time So you could do a whole lesson. Like I said you could spend the whole lesson recalling key concepts from last term you know going through writing things out having kids do group conversations about it expanding and what they can remember maybe practising answering particular types of questions for you maybe doing a few multiple choice like all kinds of stuff.
You could really embed that through a whole day or a whole lesson or you could just do a five minute quiz at the beginning of the end of a lesson or you could ask them to complete a single question and my my favourite is obviously that the brain dumb.
So liking it's five ten minutes. Do a brain dump right down everything you can remember. Now, remember, you don't have to use these task either for formative assessment. You don't have to then, look at how your students are going and nowhere up, where they're up to, or provide them with feedback necessarily Just force them to do this recall all the time is helping them to remember.
Now obviously, if you want to have a look at it and use it for formative assessment, that's good for your teaching. But because we're doing this all the time, I would be selective about which ones I would use then as the formative assessment and make sure I'm putting in more effort to have a look at how they're going.
I do however really want to encourage you to teach a students how to look at the data. So when you're doing quizzes and whatever else, get your students actually have a look at how they went, what things they got wrong, what things? They know and teach them to focus on learning the things that they got wrong.
Well did you remember our last two episodes? What were we talking about? So we talked about The importance of recall, right? That should be an easy one for you to remember after the today's episode, but also our second one. The most important thing was to know the key things of student prior knowledge.
So making sure that when they're teaching new concepts to your students that they are connecting it to things. They all ready. Know and there are lots of things and lots of recall concepts and strategies that I already just rementioned in this episode to try and remember some of those in a quizzes, brain dumps, all that kind of stuff to help you with prior knowledge, you're doing, you know, my maps things, it explicitly, connect key ideas.
You can do that, particularly through imagery works really well. Well, make sure that you are spreading the word about this miniseries. I think it's just so important for teachers to know this. That's why I'm focusing on it so much at the moment. I really want you to get a really great understanding of how students learn and applying that into your classroom with just simple.
Easy tweaks to your lessons that can really make a huge impact on improving your student learning. So tell other teachers to come and join you do this. If you haven't started doing this with your faculty, if you're a head teacher or if you're a deputy, if you haven't shared this with your rest of your staff, please do that.
I would love for you to do that and have more teachers, understand how students are learning and how they can apply that into their classrooms. So make sure you subscribe. Come back. Join me again next week. As we continue our miniseries. Looking at applying how students learn.