#46 Explain, Condense, Unpack
Use this trio to supercharge how students remember strategies
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💡 A tip to try in class this week 💡
Another week, another tip about my current favourite means of participation, Call and Respond. In case you are not aware, Call and Respond is where the teacher says one half of a statement, and in unison, the class chant back the second half.
I have written previously about how I use Call and Respond to:
This week I want to share an idea about using Call and Respond to teach strategies.
In maths, a good strategy is that when you see a right-angled triangle, think if this is a question that requires Pythagoras’ theorem to solve it, or needs one of the trigonometric ratios.
To aid this we can use: Explain, Condesne, Unpack
Explain: First, you can teach this strategy to your students using a sequence of examples and non-examples. This example needs Pythsagoras, but if I change one thing, then this example needs trig, etc.
Condense: With the strategy secure, you next turn it into a catchy Call and Respond statement, such as: Right-angled triangle… Pythagoras or trig! You get students to repeat this in the lesson itself, and then in subsequent lessons for retrieval.
Unpack: Finally, after students have successfully responded to the Call and Respond statement, you choose a student to expand upon it. What does Right-angled triangle, Pythagoras or trig actually mean… Tom?
Explain, Condense, Unpack can be used for a whole host of things, from subject-specific strategies to classroom rules and expectations. It provides a super fast, fun retrieval opportunity, but also ensures students can articulate the complexity behind the statement.
What do you think of this idea?
What would you need to change to make this tip work for you?
When could you try it for the first time?
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🏃🏻♂️Before you go, have you… 🏃🏻♂️
… tried last week’s tip about revealing answers one at a time?
… read my latest Eedi newsletter about how to think about new ideas?
… listened to my latest podcast about helping students remember things?
… read my Tips for Teachers book?
… considered booking some CPD, coaching or maths department support?
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