Teaching for Recall, Fluency and Understanding: Blog round-up for easy access.

Recent blogs on teacherhead.com have had a certain theme around teaching for recall, fluency and understanding.  Here is a round-up so people can access them easily all in one place:

Two influential papers:

Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction:  A blog exploring this key paper using four simple themes, now with a new graphic by Oliver Caviglioli.

Shimamura’s MARGE. I’m a big fan of this paper and have found the Generate and Evaluate concepts extremely powerful in explaining good and bad practice around recall.


Recent blogs explaining these ideas.

Three Powerful Strategies: Specify, Check, Apply.  A blog with lots of specific examples of how teachers can and should specify knowledge more explicitly, check for understanding more and then look to apply knowledge in more ways.  In that order.

10 Reasons Lessons Can Be Less Effective Than They Could Be: A self-explanatory title – this blog lists some key factors in making lessons less effective but in turn, this serves as an agenda for improvement and implicitly a list of what many teachers do well.

Ask before you tell?  This blog looks at the very common teacher ‘myth’ that we’re meant to avoid giving away answers, asking before we tell. With the example of learning about the Baltic States, I suggest that giving information upfront allows you to accelerate the learning process, reaching more demanding challenges sooner.


Lessons that misfire:  This blog looks at why some lesson activities do not secure good learning – when they are based on bad theory.  There are some common practices here that really do not work well and probably should not be used.

How not to mis-fire: This blog is an exploration of a specific learning process – me learning about the wives of Henry VIII.  By working out how I could learn about the wives in a way that makes it stick, I’ve examined the need for conscious schema forming and various forms of generative retrieval practice.

The Power of Practice.  This post explores various forms of practice – the key to building fluency.

The Power of Questioning: A blog about the repertoire of questioning techniques that I recommend teachers develop.

The Power of Stories:  A blog about the importance of narrative structures in building memory and understanding.


Building Word Confidence.  Finally, an older post about building confidence with practising using and saying new words.
Hope it helps.!



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