7 Strategies to Make Content Stick

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By Erica Lee Beaton

The longer I teach, the more troubled I get by students’ forgetfulness.

Yes, I am irked by the fifteen-year-old who doesn’t remember to bring a pencil to the final exam, but I am more concerned about the junior who doesn’t remember who won the Civil War, which was taught only three years prior in eighth grade, or the sophomore who can’t identify the subject and verb of a simple sentence, which seems like it needs to be retaught every year in ELA.

This isn’t concerning just because I don’t want my students to end up looking like the dummies Jimmy Kimmel finds on the street, but because they have already been taught these major concepts. I am preaching to the choir when I say that teachers work really hard, content demands increase every year, and we don’t ever seem to have enough time to do it all.

So if that’s the case, I know you feel my frustration about having to waste instructional time each year constantly reteaching students the previous years’ standards. Ain’t nobody got time for that.