We have recently learned a lot about how memory works. These research findings can inform our teaching in many wonderful ways.


The research says :

In your classroom:

When we begin by asking questions, we are more likely to remember the answers.

ü  Ask questions throughout a lesson, not just at the end.

ü  Make sure you are not the only one asking questions. Students need practice asking questions.

When we connect new information to what we already know, we remember it better.

ü  Ask students what they know about a topic and what they want to learn about the topic before you present the new lesson.

ü  At the end of the lesson, have students pause briefly to summarize what they learned.

It takes several encounters with new information to commit it to long term memory.


ü  Recycle, recycle, and recycle again. 

ü  Make sure students get between 5 and 10 opportunities to work with new information before you expect mastery.  

ü  Pause often so student can review material and identify the salient points.

The more modalities we use in learning, the more reliable our memory is.  Fire those neurons until they wire.

ü  Use all modalities as you recycle material: Make sure students attend to the new language aurally, orally, in print, in different contexts, in controlled practice and in self-expression.

The more we think about something, the more likely we are to remember it.

ü  Give your students time to process new information. 

ü  Have students reconstruct what they learned by retelling or writing what they remember.