A practical day of applying Rosenshine ‘s principles in different subject areas.

INSET Outline

Barak Rosenshine suggests spending between 5-8 minutes each day, mostly at the beginning of a lesson, to review past learning. As mentioned in the Cognitive Load Theory, our cognitive load (the quantity of information our working memory can keep at one time) is relatively small, if we wouldn’t review past learning, then our previous knowledge will get in the way of learning new knowledge.

Learning Activity: Scheduling and facilitating retrieval practice.

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Presenting New Material in Small Steps

If learners are presented with a lot of information at the same time, their working memory will suffer from overload. This will slow down or even stop the learning process as the students mind will no longer be able to process every piece of information at once.

Learning Activity: Breaking tasks down into manageable chunks using the thinking framework.

Asking Questions

Asking students different kinds of questions (such as direct questions, closed question, comprehension questions) is one of the most powerful tools a teacher can use to enhance student learning and enable them to investigate a topic in more detail.

Questions allow teachers to:

  • Establish how well a class is engaging with material
  • Determine whether to dedicate more time to explore a topic
  • Improve their students’ metacognition
  • Encourage their students to take initiative themselves
  • Enhance student learning by requiring them to practice retrieval

Rosenshine states that less effective teachers ask a fewer number of questions and nearly no ‘process questions’ (questions about the learning process, such as how students performed a task). 

You might be interested in our INSET on Higher Cognitive Questioning Strategies : find out more here


Learning Activity: Creating higher order questions using a simple matrix.

Presenting Models

Providing new information to learners by linking it to their prior knowledge allows a quicker understanding, deeper retention and enhances students’ memory. It is particularly true of different types of concepts such as complex concepts, essential concepts and sequencing concepts etc). 

Learning Activity: Using physical models to make learning concrete.

Guided Student Practice

Rosenshine’s principle emphasizes the importance of giving students sufficient time to practise retrieval, ask questions, and get the desired help. Students must not stop after learning the information once, they must continue to rehearse it by summarising, analyzing, or applying their knowledge. 

Learning Activity: Creating opportunities for purposeful practice.

‍Checks for Student Understanding

Checks for understanding allow teachers to identify any misconceptions students may have and explain things they are still struggling with. Rosenshine’s sixth principle suggest teachers take intermittent periods during the lesson to stop and assess whether students have understood the learning material.

Learning Activity: Using graphic organisers for formative assessment.

Achieving an Elevated Success Rate

Cognitive Psychology Research reveals that the instructors who utilized the most effective teaching strategies had more students with higher educational success rates. According to Barak Rosenshine, the optimal academic success rates educators need to strive for is 80% (which is similar to the optimal success rate for multiple-choice tests). 

Providing scaffolds for difficult lessons

According to Rosenshine’s eighth principles, when using more complex material teachers must apply scaffolding in their lessons. Scaffolding means facilitating students’ incremental mastery of a skill or concept by gradually decreasing teacher assistance.

Key learning activity: Incorporating visual materials into lessons.

Independent Practice

The ninth principles of Rosenshine claim that scaffolding is crucial, but the students must also be able to complete tasks independently and take responsibility for their learning. Creating independent learners is vital as it helps students to improve their educational performance and stay motivated. 

Weekly & Monthly Review

Rosenshine’s tenth principle is an advanced stage of the first principle, but it involves reviewing the prior knowledge over monthly and weekly timeframes. This mixture of retrieval and spacing is a method known as successive relearning which implicates spacing out the use of retrieval practice methods at various points in time until a specific level of mastery has been accomplished.

You may also be interested in our training on Adaptive Teaching Strategies click here


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