Written on: 02/01/2011 by apantelmann (1 review written)
How to Teach so Students Remember
By Marilee Sprenger
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve (May 2005)
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #308,238 in Books
Marilee Sprenger is well known the field of education. She has educated students of all grades from preschool to graduate school. An adjunct professor at the Aurora University where she instructs classes in brain based strategies and memory courses. How to Teach so Students Remember is a manifestation of her experience in a research environment and/or a classroom.
The book is structured that should make reading easy. The main focus of the book is "The Seven Steps of the Learning/Memory Cycle." The first chapter begins with an introduction that introduces the 7 Es (expectation, enduring understanding, essential questions, evidence, evaluation, entry points, and experience) which are a precursor to the cycle. The 7 Es are the steps before the 7 steps of learning; Reach, Reflect, Recode, Reinforce, Rehearse, Review, Retrieve are more or less a process that follows step by step. All though, when a teacher fails, he/she may need to reteach and reassess struggling students. The book is full of illustrations including the back of the book appendix A and B. Seven pages of references provide a decent foundation of research that supports the seven steps of learning. An index provides quick access to pages that may be related to key words.
The book's strengths are three fold: practical, effective, and realistic. The seven steps provide an organized way to get students to remember. Reach students by means of engaging them through interest. This is common in Presentation of what is known as the PPP (Presentation, Practice and Production) method of teaching. And Engage in ESA (Engage, Study, Activate) is another teaching model that teachers employ which happens to be very similar or a refinement to the PPP method. Reflect, the second step, provides the reader with the importance of questioning, visualizing and collaboration which is fundamental in so many learning strategies. Recode is basically rewording or put the information is your own words. Reinforce is vital for support and correction. Rehearse stresses the importance of practice. Review checks for problems with meeting the 7 Es. And Retrieve is the final assessment stage. Each makes sure that the student has the necessary scaffolding or support to meet the goals set out at the beginning of the book. The book is nicely researched and organized with anecdotes peppered throughout.
The weaknesses of the book are in mainly in the introduction of the model that needs to be emphasized. The 7 Es should be the first step before Reaching the student. How can an archer hit his target when he has nothing to aim at? Therefore, goal setting should be the first step, but I can't think of a word that starts with re-!
Overall, this book deserves a five star rating for its approach and delivery. I like the way how Marilee Sprenger made a topic that could be very complex and theoretical simple and yet practical. It is a must read for all teachers who want to reach their students and get them to remember important learning objectives.
Axel H. Pantelmann, M.A.
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