What Do They Remember? A Look at Understanding and Engagement in Information Contexts
What do kids remember and why? Why sometimes and not others? Ellin talks about immersing herself in the subject area, before the experience and during.
- Some questions to consider, great food for thought.....
1. Are students retaining and reapplying what they read and learn in Social Studies and Science?
2. If they don't remember, did they understand in the first place?
3. To what degree does understanding relate to engagement?
- Kids need to......
- get their hands dirty.
- smell it
- talk about it
- read about it
- see it
If they don't, do they ever really understand, they HAVE to be engaged, then they'll retain it.
Do kids retain and reapply in six days, six weeks and six months?
This makes me think about presents during the holidays. Does my three year old remember what 'presents' she received during Christmas just three months ago, I bet she doesn't. If you ask her what she remembers most from the holiday experience, I'll bet it's spending a week in Lake Tahoe at our family cabin with her three Uncles and having a snowball fight. It's the experiences that kids remember, it's the conversations they must be immersed to retain, same concept for educating and school!
Some conditions for understanding.....
- Focus on a few concepts
- Teach in real depth
- Over a long period of time
- Apply them in a variety off texts and contexts
Some additional thoughts from Ellin......
- If kids don't remember, do they really understand? Kids remember and reapply when they're engaged!
- It's ok to be a slower reader/learner, you're an in-depth learner likely to remember.
- Don't be in a rush, stop the frenzy, it's counter productive to deep/permanent/memorable learning!
- Make the content 'worthy' for kids to learn, act as a scientist w/them, give them time to practice!
- If kids don't remember, they didn't really understand, engagement is king, have kids do the heavy educational lifting!
- Value the time it takes to have a conversation, THAT'S engagement.
- Make kids hungry for more, make it difficult to satisfy them, continue the learning!
An article than Ellin quoted about reading engagement, great read!