Book Review: A Must Read for the New and Experienced Teacher

  • This blog entry was written by Dr. Mabel Franks, Professional Development Instructor for Continuing Education at FPU.

How to Teach So Students RememberHow to Teach So Students Remember by Marilee Sprenger (2006) is an excellent, user-friendly resource for both new and tenured teachers, K-adult.  The author applies what we know about learning and memory to strategies that increase and deepen student understanding and the retention, retrieval and transfer of information.  Each of the 7 steps (reaching, reflecting, recoding, reinforcing, rehearsing, reviewing, and retrieving) includes real world examples and rich stories from the classroom to explain the how and why of each step in the process.  Powerful memory-building strategies, such as feedback, use of the emotional learning pathway and pacing,  are designed to support all students, fully align with the Common Core Standards, are easy to implement, and most of all—they work!!

For example, did you know spacing of reviews is almost as important as the review, itself?  With traditional review pacing, most of what is learned is forgotten. Valuable time is wasted.  Reteaching becomes a necessity.  Student frustration increases.  Student engagement decreases.

Review Schedules (adopted from Sprenger, 2006, p. 127)

  • Traditional pacingReview at the end of the instruction, just before assessment.  90 % of what is learned is forgotten in 14 days
  • Memory-building pacingSpacing reviews throughout learning and increasing time between reviews increases likelihood of long-term retention of information.

“By consciously teaching for memory,” we can remediate and accelerate learning for all students and “help students gain confidence in their abilities.  By doing so, we will better quip all students to be successful learners, reliable family members and informed members of society” (Sprenger, M. 2006, bookcover).

Marilee Sprenger has taught pre-K through graduate school and is a noted author and recognized contributor to professional publications on differentiation, learning styles, CCSS, brain-based learning and scientifically-based educational research.

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