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Teaching Tips - General

Increasing Learning Through Impact

Most people know that:

Repetition is the mother of learning.

However, it is not just repetition that causes more learning, but

The "impact" of each repetition.

For example, think of something that was very important to you, but happened only once: your wedding day, the birth of your first child, a serious accident, a special vacation. I still remember my first date, as if it was last week. Yet it was only one day, many, many years ago. But the impact of that one repetition was so high, that I still easily remember it.

The key is to make each repetition as strong as possible, to have as much impact as possible with each repetition. It's true that repetition helps all of us remember things, but you can reduce the number of repetitions significantly, if you can increase the impact of each repetition.

How?

You have to work at making the subject interesting, fun, and strong.

To get them interested, show them how they can use this new knowledge to do something they want to do (for example, for math, they can use it to count their money, run a business, get a job, etc.).

Or, when doing a new activity, limit how much they can do (don't let them do it until they get tired of it), so the next day they still want more. Keep them a little hungry to continue doing the activity, so they still crave it.

To make it fun, play games and watch videos instead of reading books. Do lots of hands on activities and field trips. And always look for things that are more intense, that will get them to react "emotionally."

To make it strong (high impact), do weird stuff. Get them moving their bodies when they are memorizing or answering questions. Get them to shout it out. Cover your ears and get them to really shout it out. They will laugh and remember.

This works great when memorizing facts (math facts, spelling, etc. - unfortunately, while we need to teach them to think creatively, and how to learn when they are faced with new problems, there are also lots of "facts" that will really help them in their lives, but moving and shouting them out can get rid of the tedium of memorizing them).

If they have difficulty writing stories, instead of writing it out, get them to tell you, or even better, get them to act it out in a mini-play. Join in with them as another character. If this works half as well for you as it does for us, you will love it, and you will have tons of fun, and lots of great creative stories.

See this math tip for another example "Using Impact to Learn Math Facts".

Explain The Impact Concept To Them

Another great way to add impact is to explain this concept of adding impact to them. First explain the concept of impact and how it will help them learn faster.

Then, for each method of adding impact that you want to use, explain to them how that method of adding impact helps them to learn it faster, so it's better for them.

And also ask them to help you come up with ways to give it more impact. This will get them more involved in the process, which will get them trying harder to create that impact, and they will have more fun with doing it and thinking of more ways to do it (after all, serious impact is really fun, and this will give them a chance to come up with more ways for you and them to have fun together while learning - and increase the learning).

Explaining this to them also shows them that you really care about them, that you want to keep it as interesting and fun for them as possible, which will also help them to work with you (and you can't show them you care about them too many times - we can all use more love).

Conclusion

Make it interesting, make it fun, and add impact where ever you can. If you took a night class, and it was boring, would you learn much? Would you like it? Would you even keep going? I hope not.

Make sure you're not giving this boring course to your children. Keep your teaching filled with fun and impact!





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