Vera Neville, an Elementary School at East Elementary in Hingham, Massachusetts recently shifted the way she teaches difficult content based on knowledge acquired relating to the Primacy-Recency Effect. The Primacy-Recency Effect describes how learning is more effective at the beginning andend of a set of data. Great teacher advice from a great teacher!
In my 45 minute reading block, “prime time” occurs during the first 15 to 20minutes. This is when new material should be introduced, as the likelihood that it will beretained is better during that phase. “Down time” occurs 20 to 30 minutes afterbeginning instruction. Practice and review are best during this time. Prime time 2 occurs 35 to40 minutes into instruction. A closing activity to help students attach meaning to what they’velearned is helpful during this time.What I’ve learned about primacy-recency has made me think carefully about how I use eachmoment of instruction time. I used to use the first few minutes as a quick review of previousconcepts, but based on what I now know about “prime time,” I will introduce newmaterial during the first 15 to 20 minutes of instruction to increase the likelihood of retention. Iwill use “down time” (20 to 30 minutes after the start of instruction) to review and practice what has been taught.
The Primacy Recency effect and many other teaching strategies are covered in Learners Edge course 970 Math Works: Teaching Math with the Brain in Mind. Explore this course or any of our other coursesto help you with Teaching Tips, Teaching Advice and Teaching Strategies you can apply in your classroom today!
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