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Q&A #361


Mastery learning

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From: Marielouise (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 15, 1998 at 22:52:03
Subject: Re: Mastery learning - first year algebra

Becky, if you are implementing mastery learning, include homework strands 
that repeat what has been taught. One of the strong points of both the Saxon 
materials and the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project materials 
is that both have repetition on homework. In essence an idea is introduced 
and several questions are assigned, each question for at least five 
assignments. The material is revisited in later assignments but with not as 
many questions and not as frequently. If your text does not make such 
assignments you can select the assignments in this fashion.

A second idea I would consider is to give a very short five-minute quiz 
frequently (such as every day), asking the same questions that were asked for 
homework. See if the students have the recall. Those that do not have this 
recall can alert you that they already need help.

Whether or not you are implementing mastery learning, it is "foolish" on the 
part of a teacher to think that s/he can teach something once and that 
students will have mastered it. When you answer students' questions or give 
instructions, make sure that the students are aware of the questions. 
Frequently, I put at the top of the board or overhead the questions that I 
hope to explore in my teaching. Answers without questions are meaningless.

Good luck.

- Marielouise, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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