In this brief post, I will present another way to extend exposure, which yield the same benefits for the same reason: separating related topics.
Most of us teach related topics consecutively, hoping that if the previous topic is still fresh in the student's mind, it will make the next one easier to grasp. Examples are teaching factoring right after teaching the distributive rule, or teaching sine, cosine and tangent in one fell swoop, series after sequences, and so on.
Well, most of us are wrong. It is far more effective to separate related topics. Here are some examples:
- factoring using manipulatives, then some time later, the distributive law
- the tangent ratio, based on slope and the 10-cm circle, then some time later, sine and cosine
- quadratic functions, using graphing technology, then some time later, quadratic equations
- sequences, based on iterating linear functions, then some time later, series
- exponential functions, starting with ten-sided dice, then some time later, logs
The gap can be anything from a few weeks to a whole semester.
Even though it is not widely known, this is a powerful idea, and it is not too difficult to implement.
[More on extending exposure]