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  • Zorica Lloyd

    April 20, 2022 at 10:57 am

    1). I think students greatly appreciate spiraling or at least revisiting concepts somehow. I recently asked students why they feel they don’t retain skills over time, fractions in particular. They essentially said: We did fraction at the beginning of 5th grade and didn’t see then again until some point in6th grade, so yeah…we forgot. It made sense to me. And as adults we’d be unlikely to expect people in any other situation to remember something they were forced to learn a year and hadn’t used since then.

    2). I think that in addition to teaching using the block method, we miss opportunities to spiral, or at least revisit skills and concepts, when we try to keep new ideas “simple”. For example, when teaching a new unit on equations teachers often use only whole numbers because we’re worried that having rational numbers will confuse students and we won’t be able to tell if the issue is the numbers or their understanding of equations. But this is a great opportunity to revisit earlier concepts like fractions, decimals, or integers and for students to see them in another context, which might actually deepen their previous understanding.