15 Retention Strategies That Will Help Students Remember Their Learning
Real learning happens when learning “sticks.”
Employing solid retention strategies with your learners means using tools you can call on anytime to help students remember learning. The retention strategies offered in the TeachThought article 15 Reflection Strategies To Help Students Retain What You Just Taught Them are among the simplest and the best for every teacher to use. Each one encourages the natural reflection process that helps our students absorb learning effectively.
“Reflection is a natural part of learning. We all think about new experiences—the camping on the car ride home, the mistakes made in a game, or the emotions felt while finishing a long-term project that’s taken months to complete.”
The reflective Debrief stage is the final step in the 6Ds process of Solution Fluency. However, it’s not the end of the journey by any means. Retention strategies like the ones offered in this article are perfect for debriefing learning. What makes them so powerful is that they are meant to encourage deeper curiosity, and to lead to new learning.
Here’s a summary of the 15 retention strategies that you can read more about by visiting the full article on TeachThought.
- Pair-Share: Learners pair up and share something to help them learn new content, deepen understanding, or review what they already know.
- Sentence Stem-based responses: Sentence-stems help learners to think and speak using different patterns. Here is a good example from Teacher’s Toolkit.
- Layered Text: This is a digital document that contains hyperlinks that communicate answers to students’ questions, inquiry pathways, references and allusions, and more.
- Tweeting: Twitter is useful among retention strategies and other assessment tools because of its character parameters. 140 characters encourages brevity while being succinct and to-the-point. We’ve got some great Twitter activities in the free Twitter-Tastic Teacher’s Guide that make for wonderful retention strategies.
- 3-2-1: Ask students to write 3 things they think they know, 2 things they know they don’t know, and one thing they’re still curious about.
- Exit Slips: Learners write simple brief reflective statements about the day’s learning or answers to specific questions you ask and drop them into a box on their way out the door.
- Write-Around: In this exercise, learners write their responses to a topic and then pass them to other students to read. They then respond to the responses, thereby creating a string of conversation and reflection around the topic. This is one of those retention strategies that is a great substitute for class discussions in that it also exercises writing, attention, and interpretation skills.
- Sketching: Drawing is a terrific learning strategy that fosters creative expression without verbalization, similar to writing strategies.
- Podcasting: This a great way for tech-minded students to get involved with retention in a way that speaks to their interests. It’s a creative, technical, and multi-skilled exercise that students will love doing.
- Brainstorming: Students can have a time limit to record everything they remember about a topic or questions they still may have about it.
- Jigsawing: “Jigsawing,” as stated in the article, “is a grouping strategy where a task, concept, or something ‘larger’ is broken down into small puzzles pieces, and students in groups analyze the small puzzle piece, then share out to create the puzzle at large.”
- Prezi: Prezi is one of the most creative presentation platforms on the Web. They’re easy to build and fun to share.
- Vlog: This is basically video-blogging, a cross between podcasting, blogging, and online video.
- Collage: Collaging can be done either online or using more traditional means.
- Journaling: Good old-fashioned journaling is still one of the best retention strategies out there.
Read the full article on TeachThought. What retention strategies are you using that work best in your classroom?
Most Recent Articles
The process of writing is an important one for any learner to understand and experience. Even in the digital age, writing is still one of our most common and effective means of communication. Through appropriate feedback during peer assessment,...
Editor's note: This is an updated version of our article on critical thinking exercises that really stretch your learners' abilities, with even more activities added. Real critical thinking exercises seek truth. It takes daring and independent thought to...
Teachers and administrators have to be able to communicate effectively to get things done for the schools that they serve. However, actually forming great communication bonds between each other is sometimes easier said than done. We're hoping...