#7 Include prerequsite knowledge checks in homeworks and tests
It will save you valuable lesson tme
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💡 A quick tip to try in class this week 💡
For most of my career, topic-specific homeworks and tests were my go-to. Then I read research into the Spacing Effect, and realised that it is a good idea to include a revision section on each homework or test to ensure students have an opportunity to retrieve concepts that have encountered in the past.
But one thing I had never considered before - but which makes total sense - is to include prerequisite knowledge for an upcoming topic on homeworks and tests. This allows you to get a sense of where your students are currently at before you start teaching the next topic, and hence spend valuable lesson time focussing on the areas of weakness the homework or test has identified.
An approximate homework or test composition could be:
Topics encountered previously: 30%
Current topic: 50%
Prerequisite knowledge for upcoming topic: 20%
Maths teacher, Jo Morgan, suggests that if you start a new topic next lesson and don't have time to mark the homeworks or topic tests in their entirety, then spend time looking over the answers to the prerequisite knowledge questions to get a sense of where your students are at, and then return to making the rest of the answers when you have more time.
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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A really important idea from Harry Fletcher-Wood - we can you do less of, but do better?
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👂 A podcast episode to listen to on your way home 👂
Psychologist, Bradley Busch, shares his five tips:
Consider lengthening wait times to maximise retrieval
To develop resilience you need both high challenge and high support
Challenge students on what they like versus what’s best for them
Ban mobile phones
Ask yourself “what evidence would change your mind?”
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