I often say to my students, “If a test is the first time you’re made to think about or with the class material, we’ve both probably failed.” Learning is effortful and requires cognition. As their teacher, I need to ensure that I provide my students with opportunities for demonstration of learning in the classroom.
There are many ways to do this. Your methods can be traditional and require pencil and paper or more modern with a screen and other manipulatives. No matter the technique, students should be made to work with and think with the information or content in order to increase their retention of it.
Cognitive psychology provides evidence of specific learning strategies that are wonderfully applicable and adaptable to most classrooms, no matter students’ abilities or grade level. Here are two strategies I discovered through The Learning Scientists and use in my classroom almost daily in an attempt to teach my students more efficient and effective study and practice habits and to maximize their retention of material.