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Reflecting English

memory Illustration: @jasonramasami http://saamvisual.com/school

A few years ago, still under the spell of the starter/main/development/plenary model of my teaching training, I began to stray. My distinctly unimpressive timekeeping meant that I would usually find myself doing the plenary of the previous lesson as the starter of the next.

Over time, I felt that I had cottoned on to something. By leaving the plenary to the next lesson, it seemed to force students to recollect what they had covered previously. This retrieval of prior learning would then, naturally, catapult us into the current lesson. It seemed to make a lot of sense. Especially when reading a longer text, I would use a quiz to cue memory of the key events and ideas we had covered. The trick was to use these simple closed questions as points of reference in a broader class discussion. If I asked in the quiz, “What were George…

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