Step 5: Repetition and practice

Even when students appear to have grasped a topic (because they have successfully completed the task we set them) we know that many will have forgotten by the following week.

Repetitions are needed to secure long-term memories.  The repetitions are tasks the students does which use the new knowledge, they are not repetitions of the teaching. If new knowledge is properly secured, no re-teaching is needed.

Sometimes teachers claim that there is so much content in their course that they cannot take the time for repetitions.  This is a false economy – they will have to teach it all again when they do the revision.

Methods of repetition and practice

  • Spaced v massed practice
  • Quizzes, questioning and plenaries as repetition
  • Homework as practice
  • Use of social media
  • Guided practice