Just because you're practicing an instrument doesn't mean you're learning

Just because you're practicing an instrument doesn't mean you're learning

Are you learning to play an instrument? "Practice makes perfect," right? There's a catch: Just because you're practicing an instrument, a language, or even CPR resuscitation, it doesn't mean you're learning. What can you do? Use interleaving! Download our interleaving guide and read tips from an orchestra director. Boost learning and mix it up!

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Want to know what interleaving feels like? Try these quick math problems!

Want to know what interleaving feels like? Try these quick math problems!

It's been awhile since we've talked about interleaving! Years of cognitive science research have established that interleaving – simply rearranging the order of retrieval opportunities – can increase (and even double) student learning. But what does interleaving actually look like? This week, try it for yourself!

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It's our 50th update. Here are our greatest hits!

It's our 50th update. Here are our greatest hits!

We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can empower you and make the most with the science of learning. Because we can't transform teaching alone! This is where you come in – to help share this valuable knowledge. Based on your clicks, tweets, and likes, check out our three most popular updates.

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Cumulative exams aren't the same as spacing and interleaving. Here's why.

Cumulative exams aren't the same as spacing and interleaving. Here's why.

Are cumulative exams the same thing as spacing or interleaving? Actually, not quite. Cumulative exams can be beneficial for learning. But there are also some subtle ways we can take cumulative exams to the next level – by ensuring that we (and our students) are using spacing and interleaving throughout the semester, not just before the exam.

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Retrieval practice is a powerful foundation for learning

Retrieval practice is a powerful foundation for learning

We spend a lot of time talking about retrieval practice. Why? We feel that retrieval practice is foundational. It serves as the basis on which we can add more strategies: spacing, interleaving, and feedback-driven metacognition. Download our “cheat sheet” summarizing key findings from retrieval practice, with links to scientific articles.

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Get ready for a new book by a cognitive scientist AND a K-12 teacher!

 Get ready for a new book by a cognitive scientist AND a K-12 teacher!

Written by Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D. and Patrice M. Bain, Ed.S., forthcoming book Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, Spring 2019) is the culmination of a 15-year collaboration by a scientist and a classroom teacher to understand what's most effective for student learning. Learn more about their book and stay tuned for updates!

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Quiz yourself! How much do you know about cognitive science strategies?

Quiz yourself! How much do you know about cognitive science strategies?

End of the semester? That must mean it's time to find out what you've learned this year. Thankfully, this isn't an exam. This week, quiz yourself with our three "retrieval practices about retrieval practice," including interleaving, multiple-choice questions, and foundational principles from cognitive science. Reduce your own "summer slide" with retrieval practice and celebrate how much you've learned. 

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Download sketchnotes from the book Make it Stick!

Download sketchnotes from the book Make it Stick!

Following our email update from last week, we're excited to announce free downloadable sketchnotes along with chapter summaries and recommended readings based on Henry L. Roediger's book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Why are we excited about sketchnotes? They're quick, fun, and you don't have to wait until the summer to dive in to Make it Stick. Download, share, and spread the word about powerful teaching strategies based on cognitive science!

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Interleaving is a roll of the dice (and that's a good thing!)

Interleaving is a roll of the dice (and that's a good thing!)

How can we use interleaving without planning? Last week, we wrote about interleaving (and fruit salad). The key to effective interleaving is to mix up similar topics, which encourages students to discriminate between similar ideas, concepts, and problems. This week, learn about quick and fun strategies for interleaving in the classroom that put students in charge – more learning for them, less planning for us.

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What do fruit salad and interleaving have in common?

What do fruit salad and interleaving have in common?

Interleaving is a powerful strategy that boosts learning by mixing up content students need to learn. Based on a wealth of cognitive science research, the challenge and "desirable difficulty" of interleaving can double exam performance compared to teaching content in "blocks" of the same concepts. But what's the secret to effective and fruitful interleaving? Mix similar topics. Read more about why and stay tuned for next week, when we'll share quick how to's.

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Think-Pair-Share? Think again!

Think-Pair-Share? Think again!

Whether you teach at an elementary school or a medical school, you've probably heard of the instructional strategy, think-pair-share. But wait! Does think-pair-share always boost learning? Read on for research-based tips on incorporating retrieval, spacing, and interleaving to make think-pair-share an even more powerful strategy in your classroom.

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Celebrate good times, come on! (It's our one year anniversary!)

Celebrate good times, come on! (It's our one year anniversary!)

It's been a year since we launched RetrievalPractice.org! There's a party going on' right here – and we're celebrating you for transforming learning with cognitive science research, resources, and strategies in your classrooms and schools around the world. Here's a roundup of our biggest hits (and the best is yet to come)!

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Why do we love retrieval practice? Read on for our top 5 reasons!

Why do we love retrieval practice? Read on for our top 5 reasons!

Retrieval practice is the best thing since sliced bread. We think so (and we love bread!). This week, read on for the top 5 reasons we love retrieval practice. Why do you love retrieval practice? Let us know in this week's super quick "retrieval practice about retrieval practice."

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Where can you learn more? The library, of course!

Where can you learn more? The library, of course!

Have you seen our library? Check it out! There are so many websites, articles, and books about cognitive science to explore, but it can also seem like cognitive science research is hidden under a giant rock. We want to change that. Spend 5 minutes and discover our library of resources and downloads. Always open, no reservations needed, never booked. (Not a fan of our library puns? We can only blame our shelves.)
 

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Three Tools You Can Use

Three Tools You Can Use

Welcome to the new year! Here are three "tools you can use" to kick off 2018:

  1. Visit our library to download our Retrieval Practice Guide and our Interleaving Guide
  2. Check out our email archive for our favorite research, resources, and tips
  3. Get to know Digital Promise, a fantastic organization that's advancing education by increasing access to cognitive science research
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Download our Interleaving Practice Guide!

Download our Interleaving Practice Guide!

Based on a growing mountain of evidence, interleaving is a strategy that dramatically improves learning. In a nutshell: The way practice problems are arranged can dramatically affect student learning. Download our new Interleaving Guide and learn more.

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Like podcasts? You'll love these.

Like podcasts? You'll love these.

We're highlighting our 3 favorite podcasts: the Cult of PedagogyTeaching in Higher Ed, and the Learning Scientists. The hosts are experts in the application of all things retrieval practice and additional strategies based on cognitive science, inside and outside the classroom.

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