Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

04.18.18Samara Levy: Cold Call + No Opt Out + Retrieval Practice

Strengthening long-term memory with Retrieval Practice.

Super busy at TLAC Towers this week so I barely have time to write, but we just cut this great clip of TLAC Fellow Samara Levy of Livingston Collegiate Academy High School in New Orleans that I kind of had to share.

It shows Samara in the midst of her daily retrieval practice. The purpose is to take what students know and drive it into long term memory by causing them to recall it consistently–and after a bit of forgetting.

To do this, Samara peppers her students with questions on key facts via Cold Call. No hands allowed. Everyone has to be ready. [You can raise your hand if you want to develop or improve an answer afterwards; Samara cues them with “Who wants it?” which is nice and makes it feel a bit like a game show]

EA.NoOptOut.GR9.Levy.’Maintain the base.’Clip2789 from TLAC Blog on Vimeo.

Some teachers get nervous with Cold Call because they don’t know what they’ll do if a student gets it wrong, as Jordan does here. Samara has a solution: 1) a culture of warmth positivity that feels, to quote Mary Myatt, ‘high challenge; low threat.’ 2) No Opt Out–especially No Opt Out where Jordan identifies what he got wrong but now knows.

This leverages the “hypercorrection effect“–to quote Dylan Wiliam: “When students guess an answer, but guess wrongly, [and] are told the correct answer, they remember the correct answer for longer than if they had guessed correctly in the first place.”

In other words the cycle of Cold Call and No Opt Out is one of the best ways to facilitate students building long term memory, and Samara does a beautiful job of that in this clip–PS so do her students!


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