Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction are a huge area of interest in education at the moment, thanks to all the practical implications and impact they can have for teachers and students alike.
The first of these principles suggests that lessons should begin with a daily review of previous learning, which can improve knowledge of past information and also lead to easier recall. Daily reviewing of old information can also facilitate the learning of new and related information.
But how can you actually do this in the classroom? Here are 5 ways you can prompt daily reviewing…
What are Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction?
But first, a quick recap. Rosenshine developed his 10 Principles of Instruction based on research from three main areas:
- Cognitive science, which focuses on how the brain acquires new information.
- Classroom practices, which look at the most effective teaching strategies that lead to high student achievement.
- Cognitive support, which researches which instructional procedures, such as talking out loud and scaffolding, have the best outcome on student achievement.
Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction are being implemented by teachers across all disciplines and education levels. They are bridging the gap between education and research, in a way that we can ensure that applying his principles in the classroom will have a positive effect on students.
How Can You Facilitate Daily Review?
Rosenshine’s first Principle is to “review learning at the start of the lesson”. This is because research shows that our working memory is small and easily overloaded, which means that students are likely to have forgotten new information from the last lesson and would struggle to recall it without a review.
We know that daily reviewing is important not only to remember information, but also to learn new information. We do this by building on what we already know, so daily reviewing will help create a solid foundation that your students can build upon during the rest of the lesson.
When it comes to how to review learning with your students, you have some choice. Rosenshine himself suggested five strategies you could use…
1. Correct homework
Correcting homework tasks during class time can encourage students to review what they have learned well or not so well. Looking over mistakes they made allows students to evaluate how well they are learning. This develops their metacognitive skills and helps them identify the areas of knowledge that they need to go over.
2. Review concepts and skills used in the homework
Although correcting homework is useful to pinpoint specifically which answers were wrong and which were correct, reviewing which overarching concepts and skills used in the homework is also important.
This allows students to recognise whether the mistakes they are making on the homework tasks are one-off mistakes or whether they have misunderstood a concept or skill.
3. Ask students to identify points of difficulty
Finding out where your students struggled helps identify which skills need more practice, and which information needs to be reviewed.
This gives you the opportunity to re-explain concepts your students found difficult before it becomes a bigger problem – it can consolidate their learning, especially if the lesson relies on previously-explored concepts.
4. Review material where students made errors
Mistakes are not inherently bad – they are a signal to students that they have not fully grasped a particular concept or an idea. Sometimes failure can help students to develop resilience, motivation and determination.
Identify the errors your students made, and use it to prompt what to review. This will help you ensure that they understand necessary information and will learn new information more easily.
5. Review material that needs overlearning
Overlearning is the idea that certain skills can become automatic, freeing our working memory capacity. Overlearning and becoming experts in certain basic skills can form the foundation for future learning.
Reviewing material that needs overlearning can emphasise the importance of mastering these skills and lead to academic success not only in the present, but also in the future. So, even if your students fully understand a concept and make very few mistakes with it, sometimes, it may be worth reviewing it again and again to make it “second nature”.
Rosenshine’s first Principle of Instruction is all about reviewing material. Conducting a daily review for just a few minutes before beginning a lesson has been shown to improve academic performance by relieving some of our cognitive load and ensuring students aren’t basing their future learning on mistakes.
Hopefully, this blog has given some good food for thought on how to do so, but if you want to become an expert in Rosenshine's Principles and implementing them in the classroom, why not have a look at our Rosenshine's Principles teacher CPD workshops?