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Activate is the part of our lessons where students connect to prior knowledge/skills recognizing that retrieval is key to long term memory (Brown et al., 2014). The task should be connected to where students have been, where students will be today, and where students are going.

  • Assess prior knowledge/achievement
  • Make connections (recall information)
  • Demonstrate previous learned skills
  • Analyze work for mistakes
  • Predict misconceptions
  • Assessing/checking for understanding for the specific task
  • Sharing student work
  • Facilitating discourse
  • Asking questions
  • Following routines
  • Asking questions
  • Engaging in discourse
  • Making connections (recalling information)
  • Solving problems

Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel

Peter Brown is writer and novelist who worked with Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel, both professors of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, on their book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. This book has the practitioner in mind as it is easy to read, presents the research on how we store and remember information, and includes practical and easy to implement suggestions for teaching and learning.


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Norwich Public Schools

90 Town Street

Norwich, CT 06360


860.823.1880 fax

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