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Weekly Tool Tip


 Retention Tool #2:  
The Power of 20 Minutes

 Purpose: To maximize attention retention and recall by aligning instruction with the brain's natural attention cycles.

  • Step 1: Break the learning time you have with students down to chunks of a maximum of 20 minutes. {7 to 15 minute chunks are often optimum for younger students}.
  • Step 2: Always begin your lesson with the most important information. The brain is most likely to remember the beginning and end of any lesson.
  • Step 3: At the begining of your lesson, also give an overview of what is to be covered and create maximum curiosity.
  • Step 4: Add as much variety as you can in terms of where you stand in the room, how you use your voice tone, use of music and graphics to sustain attention and interest.
  • Step 5: Towards the end of the 20 minute session, highlight the most important information. Remember the brain retains the first and last things it is exposed to.
  • Step 6: At the end of 20 minutes, insure a complete state change by using "brain gym", "think pair share", or giving students a mini break.

 NOTE: By respecting the way the brain naturally absorbs information, in 20 minute chunks and capitalizing on the laws of primacy and recency, we can help students learn in a far more joyful and effective way. It is also useful to suggest to students that anytime they do homework they also use The Power of 20 Minutes to maximize the impact of their study time.

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