Guide & monitor your students all the way- applying Rosenshine's principles

Jan-Wolter Smit

Head of Education

Monitoring student learning, giving your feedback, and adjusting your instruction accordingly should be a process that breathes throughout all your lessons. Guiding and stimulating independent practice, though, is much harder in practice than in theory. Hereunder we propose 3 learning techniques to support you in the application of Rosenshine's Principles of Education in the classroom, while guiding and monitoring student practice.

Learning techniques 👉 guiding & monitoring student practice 

Which Rosenshine principles are applied in the following 3 learning techniques?

  • Guide student practice (5)

These principles highlight the importance of providing students with enough time to ask questions, practise retrieval, or receive the help they need in order to do so. It’s not enough for a student to learn information once, they have to keep rehearsing it through summarising, evaluating, or applying their knowledge. If teachers rushed this process, it would be detrimental to both teachers and students.

  • Provide scaffolding for difficult tasks (8)

When introducing students to more complex material, Rosenshine suggests using scaffolding in your lessons. Scaffolding is when teachers facilitate students’ gradual mastery of a concept or skill by gradually reducing teacher assistance. There is a shift of responsibility over the learning process from the teacher to the student.

  • Require and monitor independent practice (9)

Although guiding student practice is important, your students should also be able to complete tasks independently and take responsibility for their own learning. Students are more motivated and improve their academic performance if they acquire the skills to learn independently. To help them become more independent and driven, you can encourage your students to:

  • Develop a sense of purpose
  • Collaborate with others within a group
  • Think reflectively
  • Set their own goals
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1. Word wheel

A small, simple puzzle can be quite complex at times. Especially when coupled with learning material. A word wheel is in its essence a compact puzzle that your students can solve individually, or in groups of two or three.

The goal of working with a word wheel is for you to create, and for your students to spot, as many combinations as possible. It doesn’t matter what you ask your students to combine: letters, numbers, etc. Everything is possible. What matters is that students use the cipher or letter indicated in the centre of the wheel to resolve the puzzle.

This learning technique is applicable to all subject matters, and during all phases of a lesson. It could be an interesting technique to implement during a test or exam, as a bonus question. Alternatively, it could be offered at the beginning of a lesson as a lesson starter to boost student engagement, and get them ready for the challenge ahead.

 

A digital word wheel works the best

To implement this learning technique during a LessonUp lesson, you can use a digital mind map and the symbol component. By combining these two features, you can create a structure with an internal centre, and an external wheel gravitating around it. 

By using the textual component, indicate a letter or number in the centre, and then proceed by writing all the other letters/numbers in the external wheel. For an extra challenge, you could add a timer with a set time limit for resolving each word wheel.

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2. Observe, discuss, draw… and observe again!

As a teacher, you are constantly looking for visuals related to your subject matter. You know how powerful imagery is. Images leave a strong impression on your students’ minds, stimulate curiosity and boost engagement. But how do students look at an image? Do they see all its details, or does that take more than just looking at it briefly? 

This learning technique is perfect to practice “seeing” while looking at something. It also works on students’ communication skills, and on their ability to perform under pressure.

Divide your students in groups of three or four. In each group, number your students from 1 to 4. Provide them with pencils, an eraser, and a white sheet of paper. 

“I will show you an image and give you a short amount of time to observe it, one by one. Once you have had a look, try to reproduce it correctly by working with your team. While looking at the image you cannot use the paper, pencil, or digital devices. Think of ways to replicate it as well as possible.”

All students number 1 are invited to study the image first. They can look at it for 20 seconds. After 20 seconds they go back to their team, and have to explain what they have seen. Together with their group members they try to replicate it.

After a minute, all students number 2 are invited to check out the image, followed by the number 3s and so on, until every group member has had his/her turn.  

After visualising the image, each group has between 5 and 10 minutes to reproduce it.

 

Nowadays teachers don’t challenge their students exclusively with raw subject-related content, but they try to create a connection with the students’ worlds. Maths and geometry teachers, for example, might use this learning technique to show photos of famous buildings constructed following mathematical and geometrical formulas. 

After the assignment, while discussing it with your class, remember to focus also on the process, and not only on the resulting drawings. How was the teamwork and the communication flow? Which strategy did your students follow to replicate the image?

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Upload student drawings to create a group discussion

To implement this learning technique with LessonUp you can create a lesson with three slides and a photo question. Insert the chosen photo in a slide, in between two black slides, and set the timer component to 20 seconds. At the end of the assignment, the student teams can upload their drawing in the photo question. Together with the rest of the class, you can discuss the results, the teamwork process, and the strategy chosen by each team

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3. Match a question to this answer…

One of the best ways to understand a new topic is to ask questions about it. This is valid for everybody, and especially for students who are preparing for an assessment, or simply reviewing a lesson. Curiosity and question asking helps memorise and anchor new concepts. Moreover, it makes learning more interesting and dynamic.

With this learning technique, students are shown a word or sentence concerning a certain topic, and they have to think of a relevant question to this answer. 

“Match a question to this answer” is perfect for subjects such as history or geography, but could also be applied, with some adjustments, to maths, languages, and other subjects. It can be implemented in the classroom, with your supervision, or as independent homework. 

 

Spin your class towards memorising new concepts

Use a number of spinners to apply this learning technique in LessonUp. 

Spin the first spinner to choose which category your students are going to work with. The sections of this spinner could indicate, for example, the following categories: concepts, years, people, and places. For each category prepare another targeted spinner. For the category “places”, you may spin the relevant spinner and get the following answer: “Saint Helena”. Your students have to think of a possible question to match this answer: “Which island was Napoleon banished to?”.

There are many possible variations to this learning technique. If you teach mathematics, for example, you could implement a spinner indicating a number, followed by a second spinner that shows which process students have to follow to get to the correct question.

Want to apply Rosenshine's principles in your classroom? Discover how easy you can gather feedback in your lessons with LessonUp; Gather student feedback in engaging ways