We’ve discussed teaching what is important and how to be understood by your students. Hearing and understanding the vital pieces of information you have shared with them is not enough though. Mastery must occur. Your students must be able to memorise, integrate and utilise what you have taught.
Memorise with Mnemonics
Many students claim that they dislike memorising, or that they aren’t good at it. That is often true when students are inundated with facts that are not relevant or important. But since you have focused on the vital few and made sure that your students thoroughly comprehend, memorising will be much easier! Use mnemonic devices while you teach to help your students memorise while they are learning. Some effective mnemonic devices include: pictures, graphics and charts alliteration, rhyme and acrostics chants or songs tell a story
Using mnemonic devices is a great teaching strategy because it also helps your students learn according to their learning style! Involve your students in choosing devices that work best for them. Some students will remember a song better than an acrostic and vice versa. Give options and encourage your students to be creative in developing ways to remember facts.
Integration happens when your students are able to take what you have taught them and apply it to other contexts. You want them to be so familiar with their new knowledge that they can intuitively apply it in many situations. Assessing students’ ability to integrate is recommended, for if you realise that they cannot transfer knowledge to different contexts then you may need to reteach.
The ultimate goal of education is independent utilisation. When you the teacher are not around, are your students utilising what you have taught them? Have they internalised the knowledge so thoroughly that they automatically apply it in a variety of situations? The answer should be yes! You should see this step play out in their daily work processes. Your goal is that what you have taught will have a long reaching impact on your students’ lives!
Remember, you want your students to master the most important pieces of information. Teach what is important in a way that can be understood and mastered.