Group 2: Methods

Reading lists from other groups.


Thunk (TES article)

Activities for students to discuss on entry to the classroom, which promote deep thinking and discussion, as well as engaging students and disarming the emotional brain. THUNKS have no single answer and are not necessarily directly linked to the lesson / subject.

Thunks site

Make it Stick (available from Staffroom library)

Practice retrieving new learning from memory

  • Space out retrieval practice
  • Interleave the study of different problem types
  • Elaboration – finding new layers of meaning – perhaps by explaining to others in own words
  • Generation – attempting to answer a question or solve a problem before being shown the answer
  • Reflection – taking time to reflect on what was learnt – what went well? How does it compare to previous knowledge?
  • Calibration – Using quizzes and practice tests to check understanding

(summary from J. Outred at Diss High School)

Marking- an act of love

Are you wondering why you spend ages marking books, only to find next time you mark them that your students have failed to engage with your feedback? Do you sometimes feel that we only mark books to satisfy Quality Assurance? DIRT is a simple idea that makes your marking worth the effort. When you apply the NDHS marking 4 principle, plan for the starter of the next lesson to be simply students replying to your comments i.e. acting on their EBI tasks. This can be done in silence or with pairs helping one another. It should be time for you to take a breather somewhat – if you find yourself going around at 100mph helping the students, encourage them to be more resourceful – e.g. use a dictionary, textbook or their own lesson notes.

Wait time

Build in wait time to your lessons: after posing a question to students, give them to some time to think about their best answer to the question. Make sure students have silent thinking time. Teachers to gauge how long to give them – could be 10 seconds, could be 1 minute, could build in writing to this time. Make it transparent – tell them you’re giving them time to think. Combine with cold call.

No opt out

‘Any teaching sequence that begins with the student ‘unable’ to answer a question, should end with the student answering that question’. (Doug Lemov). In the most basic form, students simply recall the correct answer. This ensures students are active within the lesson. If practised consistently it should result in students always expecting to be involved. Students are not simply ‘left alone’. It also supports students who genuinely don’t know an answer.


  •  “John, what are the products of photosynthesis?”
  •  “Dunno”
  •  “James, what are the products of photosynthesis?”
  •  “The products of photosynthesis are glucose and oxygen”
  •  “John, what are the products of photosynthesis?”
  •  “The products of photosynthesis are glucose and oxygen”

Remember if John tries and gets the answer wrong you should still go back to him for the correct answer. This will ensure the consistency and reinforce ‘No opt out’ as a learning tool, rather than a punitive measure


Reading list:

A week at the Bjork learning and forgetting lab

Visible learning

EEF: Metacognition and self-regulation

Supporting learning through effective revision techniques

Make it stick (notes)

Even geniuses work hard