The Value of Elaborative Rehearsal

jpg_4289-Owl-Teacher-Cartoon-Character-With-A-Pointer-2You’ve taught the core curriculum so your students have got it, right?

Well…maybe. Students may understand the concepts, but you also need to factor in their long term memory.

Rehearsal refers to the repetition of material, and elaborative rehearsal involves deep thinking about the material presented and associating it with information that already exists in long-term memory.

Because memory is improved with meaningful repetition, revisit the material you have taught throughout the year to help your students make connections to prior learning. This works as learning and memory occur best when various cognitive processes are repeated and overlapped. Remember, even if students have mastered a concept revisit it at a later date for optimal learning.

Monday Mornings: Proverbs, Quotes, and More

I don’t think I’ve ever had a student who didn’t like doing experiments. I hope your students have been growing their “pumpkins”–such a simple fun project. Here is how it will look after a few weeks:


Here is your quote for the week:  People “love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have a great week!

Free Pumpkin Art!

Combine art with science! I have done this fun idea many times, and the students love it! Students get to see seeds grow inside their “pumpkin”!

Download the free worksheet here: Free Pumpkin Art

Free Pumpkin Art-1

You will need zip lock baggies, wet paper towels, and pumpkin seeds (or some sort of squash variety). Saturate the paper towel with water and add a couple seeds on top; don’t seal the bag to allow airflow. In about a week, the seeds will start to sprout and grow. I staple the pumpkins up on a bulletin board. Each day, your students will love to enter class and see how their seeds are growing. (In case you have a few seeds that don’t sprout, grow some extras on the side and trade out the seeds.) I hope you try this, and combine it with a fun lesson on plants! You can see one of my seeds is starting to sprout!


Displaying Your Students’ Work

Here is a great way to display your students’ work, and it works for the entire year!

When I first began teaching, my master teacher shared this idea with me. It takes a little time to prep, but once you have it in place, you are good to go!

You will need bulletin board paper (my school always provided this paper, but I personally would go out and buy the fadeless kind as it stays nice and clean the whole year, and you can even use it for multiple years.) You will also need construction paper, prong fasteners, a hole puncher, and stapler. Here are the step by step directions:


Choose a nice color you can live with all year long, and staple to the wall  for your background color. You can add a nice border.


Grab some construction paper, choose your color(s), and then slice the paper in half. I also laminate them.


Next hole punch the laminated paper so you can attach the prong fasteners. (Hopefully, your school has these. Otherwise, you can buy them at an office supply store.)


You staple the laminate to the bulletin board paper. When you have an assignment you want to add, simply hole punch the paper, open the fastener, attach and close. The picture below probably makes my directions make much more sense!


Here is the finished product! I put up one for each student. And that means getting out the tape measure, ruler, etc., to make it all nice and straight.

About once a week I add a new paper on top. I leave all the papers underneath and they add up through the year. What makes it fun is, you can see the progress your students make. It also a great way for your parents to see their child’s work at Open House. (I typically use this board to display writing, but you can use it for any subject matter.)

This one takes some time to create, but once it’s done it looks great and you are set for the year. Parents, if you want to do this at home, you can always attach it to a small bulletin board. Have your child choose one piece each week to display. What a great way to encourage your child!

Hope this helps!