Strategies to Improve Learning

  1. Comparison
  2. Select element to compare- criteria/characteristics
  3. Brainstorm similarities and differences

Remember, identifying similarities helps me learn, but identifying differences helps me recall this. Therefore, it is useful to teach differences first when it is new knowledge to build recall pathway.

Practise by identifying both similarities and differences

Teach appropriate strategies and routines such as a comparison Matrix (maximum 7 criteria- don’t overload working memory), Double bubble or VENN

Always end by asking students to reflect on what they have learned through the comparison. Practise developing a controlling idea to synthesise this understanding.

Teach the creation and use of Analogy and Metaphor to describe ideas and concepts. This builds deeper understanding and helps pinpoint misconceptions.

e.g. Analogy 

Bone is to Skelton, as word is to ____________


Rhythm is to music, as ____________________ is to __________________________


e.g.Metaphor (Similes)

Cell membranes are like ___________________________ Because

e.g. Visualising

To enhance understanding and recall of essential vocabulary and concepts, consider asking students to create their own Four pictures one word, like the app.

It is essential to explicitly teach students why they are using the strategy – what is its purpose? What neural connections are you trying to create to enhance learning and memory?

3. Progression of thinking protocol 

  1. Teacher presents question
  2. Students work individually to brainstorm ideas
  3. Teacher groups in pairs or triads
  4. Compare ideas & Create one best answer
  5. Shuffle students and create a larger group
  6. Compare & Create one best answer
  7. Teacher calls on collects copies of all responses for later evaluation and discussion. (Google Documents might be useful for this)

Inside Outside Circle (Onion Ring)

  1. In teams (8-10)
  2. Pair
  3. A inside circle
  4. B Outside circle facing each other
  5. Teacher gives question & answer
  6. Inside asks question, Outside answers, Inside corrects
  7. Outside asks question, inside answers, Outside corrects
  8. Swap questions
  9. Move and repeat- inside clockwise, outside anti-clockwise

Line –Up Strategy

  1. Present students with a concept and explain ends of a continuum
  2. Assign them a perspective  and allocate themselves to a position based on their perspective    
  3. Position based on own position
  4. Position based on character in novel or particular thinker
  5. ‘wrap’ continuum so ends meet- i.e. extremes will pair, moderates will pair
  6. Or ‘wrap’ so moderates work with extremes
  7. A argues point for 30 seconds
  8. B tells A what they heard.
  9. B argues point for 30 seconds
  10. A tells B what they heard.
  11. All students then reflect on what they learned

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