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Instructional Practice

Brain Based Learning: 3 Tips for Increasing Student Retention


  • Three days after you hear something, you’ll remember 10% of it. If a picture is added to the exact same information, you’ll remember 65%!

Therefore, you want your PowerPoints to be more like this:

And less like this:


  • Give students processing opportunities that are both relevant and allow them to reflect on the lesson. This will move the information from short-term to long-term memory.

Here’s a great example:


  • Unless information is presented in an especially interesting way, our brains tend to hold on to information for only 30 seconds! Therefore, unless we re-expose our students to the key points of our lessons repeatedly throughout the INM (intro to new material), we run the risk of them not being remembered.
  • We can do this by repeating key points in the exact-same way every time.
  • We can also “trick” students’ brains into finding our key points interesting by adding a song or gesture.

For more information on brain-based learning, be sure to check out “Brain Rules” by John Medina and “Teaching with the Brain in Mind” by Eric Jensen. Feel free to share your strategies for increasing student rention with us in the comments section.



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