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Previewing Content for Credit!



I think a lot of us teachers struggle with how to introduce new content. Do you give out a study guide? Lecture for an hour? Make a video? Tap dance while singing the content?


The fact is: there is not ONE way to introduce new content. BUT, I think I have found a way that works for me (and hopefully my kids).


I create study guides for everything we cover. There are some teachers who are completely against study guides (I know...weird...), but I think they help if they are purposefully created to showcase the content in a way that will help them create connections to other things. Here is an example of one of my study guides:


It's not perfect, but I try to use color and boxes to make it easier to read. I also threw in some responses I got on Twitter when asking about the content I was going to cover.


Anyway, what I have started doing is giving my kids the study guide for the content we are going to cover a week ahead of when we will actually start covering it. Some people call it 'front loading'...some people call it 'previewing'... whatever you call it, the purpose is to expose them to the content before we actually cover it so it does not look 'brand new' to them.


So, I give them the study guide, and I create a quiz on that study guide. I give them 5 days to take the quiz, but they can take the quiz as many times as they want and they can get help from any person or resource they want. So, technically, they are earning points to study.


Then, when we actually cover the content the next week, they have a fairly good 'understanding' of what we are going to cover. Well, probably not an understanding...but they have an idea of what we are going to cover.


They get to earn points...they get to see the content, and I get better questions when we cover it in class because they have had time to look over it and generate those questions.


Good times...good times...

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